Airports and partners join forces to drive sustainable flying / Bidding for EU funding

Poznan Airport aims to become a hydrogen hub for the transport sector, including aviation.

As a first step Poznan Airport is already planning to build a solar farm at the airport area, which will further become a renewable energy source for electrolizers to produce green hydrogen for vehicles. Upon the clarification of technological requirements to green hydrogen by manufacturers of hydrogen-powered  aircrafts, the airport is inclined to become technologically ready to serve zero-emission aircrafts and supply hydrogen for this purpose. As its latest project, Poznan Airport has become a part of a consortium and together with partners is applying for EU funding within the Interreg programme. The international project partnership has submitted a funding application for the planned project “BSR Hydrogen Air Transport -Preparation of Baltic Sea Region Airports for Green Hydrogen”. Under the leadership of Hamburg Airport (Germany), various airports, airfields, organisations and regional economic partners have joined forces in the “Baltic Sea Region Project” to better connect Baltic Sea regions to existing aviation hubs and to promote sustainable flying.

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The EU funding programme “Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme” has announced several thematic fields. Under the leadership of Hamburg Airport the partnership applied for funding with a consortium in the thematic field of “Green Mobility”. Important contents of the “Baltic Sea Region Project” are the development of the supply chain for green hydrogen from production to the fueling of aircraft or airport ground support equipment.

The partnership consists of 16 project partners and 24 associated organisations. Almost all major airport operators around the Baltic Sea are part of the partnership. As the project aims, among other things, at revitalising regional air traffic, several smaller airports and regional airlines are also involved in the partnership. Relevant technology providers, universities and authorities are also partners or associated organisations.

In case of a successful project application and selection for funding, the project could start in autumn 2023. The transnational cooperation is planned for a duration of three years and will be an important step towards fossil-free flying in the Baltic Sea region.

Especially for smaller aircraft: hydrogen as the engine of the future

Jan Eike Hardegen, Head of Environment at Hamburg Airport: “H2 offers great potential for climate-neutral flights on short-haul routes. From our partners’ point of view, regional air transport with smaller, future hydrogen-powered aircraft is particularly suitable. Gaseous hydrogen is the propulsion of the future especially for smaller regional air transport aircrafts, such as turboprops with 20-30 seats”

Therefore, the primary goal of the newly founded Baltic Sea Region Project is to bring the airports in the Baltic Sea region up to standard for hydrogen-based aviation.

The project aims to clarify the prerequisites for an airport infrastructure that is geared towards H2-powered aircraft. At the end of the project, all airports should be prepared to invest and implement their infrastructure projects on their own. With this project, project partners want to work out the possibilities of regional air transport in H2 technology. In addition to this development aspect, a completely new network of flight connections is to be opened up.