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CAAS to work with Airbus, Changi Airport to study use of hydrogen as alternative fuel in aviation

CAAS to work with Airbus, Changi Airport to study use of hydrogen as alternative fuel in aviation

People walk along the link bridge to a terminal at Changi Airport in Singapore on Nov 18, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) will work with Changi Airport Group (CAG), aircraft manufacturer Airbus and industrial gas firm Linde to study the development of hydrogen supply and infrastructure for aviation.

The four parties signed an agreement at the Singapore Airshow 2022 on Tuesday (Feb 15).

CAAS described the public-private partnership as "key to Singapore’s effort to make its air hub a more sustainable one".

"Under the cooperation agreement, the four parties will collaborate to conduct market analysis on projected aviation demand and supply for hydrogen, regional readiness as well as the commercial and technical feasibility of hydrogen adoption," the agency said in a media release.

It added that they will also study the infrastructure requirements for a hydrogen airport hub, as well as the electrification of airport operations with hydrogen fuel cells.

"The collaboration leverages on CAAS and CAG’s expertise in airport infrastructure development and Linde’s expertise in hydrogen production, processing, storage and distribution," said CAAS. 

Meanwhile, Airbus will provide characteristics of aircraft configuration and fleet energy usage, insight on hydrogen-powered aircraft for ground operations, as well as data on the estimated hydrogen aircraft ramp-up at airports.

Linde Asia Pacific executive vice president John Panikar described hydrogen as "a key enabler of the world’s transition to a zero-carbon economy". 

The agreement was the result of an earlier agreement with Airbus, signed in November last year, to work together on initiatives to support decarbonisation efforts in the aviation sector, said CAAS. 

"Making sustainable aviation viable and accessible to all will require cross-sectoral collaboration and public-private partnership," said CAAS director-general Han Kok Juan.

"We would need to explore multiple pathways; while our immediate focus is on sustainable aviation fuel, we also need to explore longer-term alternatives such as hydrogen to better understand the potential and seize opportunities," he added. 

Airbus chief technical officer and executive member Sabine Klauke said the Asia-Pacific region would play a "key role" in making climate-neutral aviation a reality.

"By partnering with Changi Airport and with Incheon Airport, Airbus will leverage the operational and technical expertise of two of the world’s leading hubs. The studies we will carry out together reflect the need for a cross-sectoral approach, including manufacturers, airlines, regulators, airports, energy providers and academia," said Ms Klauke. 

"We look forward to this collaboration to explore innovations that enable hydrogen-powered aircraft and ground operations at Changi Airport in the future," said CAG executive vice president of airport development Yam Kum Weng, noting the airport's goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Source: CNA/az(gs)

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