Zero-emission, hydrogen-powered air travel is the aim of a new partnership between ZeroAvia and Birmingham Airport (BHX).
The companies have commenced a long-term partnership to make on-airfield hydrogen refuelling and regular domestic passenger flights of zero-emission aircraft a reality in the coming years.
Kemble, UK & Birmingham, UK: ZeroAvia is the leader in zero-emission technologies including hydrogen-electric-powered aircraft, such as those successfully test-flown at its base in Kemble, Gloucestershire, in January. Hydrogen-electric engines use hydrogen in fuel cells to generate electricity, which is then used to power electric motors to turn the aircraft’s propellers, with the only byproduct being water.
ZeroAvia is currently working on bringing to market a zero-emission system capable of flying 20-seat aircraft 300 nautical miles by 2025.
This opens up the possibility of green air travel from Birmingham to destinations like Glasgow, Aberdeen, Belfast and Dublin by the middle of this decade.
In a move that would make zero-emission travel to Mediterranean holiday destinations a reality, ZeroAvia is aiming to get an emissions-free 80-seat aircraft flying up to 1,000 nautical miles by 2027.
For BHX, the partnership with ZeroAvia forms an important part of its journey to become a net-zero-carbon airport by 2033, as outlined in its ‘carbon roadmap’, published in 2022.
The airport plans to use an area near to its disused Elmdon terminal building as a potential location for hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, testing and operations.
Arnab Chatterjee, VP Infrastructure, ZeroAvia, said:
“Birmingham Airport can be a central spoke in a green flight network in the UK, given that any domestic mainland destination will be reachable from the airport using our first systems in 2025. Given the commitments of the Jet Zero Strategy on domestic aviation, it is fantastic to engage with forward-thinking airports that want to be early innovators and developers to deliver the vision of bringing truly clean, quiet and pollution free flights to the UK.”
Simon Richards, Chief Finance & Sustainability Officer, Birmingham Airport, said:
“We are thrilled to partner with ZeroAvia on creating solutions to the main challenge of our generation – protecting the future of our planet. We could, quite conceivably, see the first hydrogen-powered domestic passenger flight taking off from BHX in the UK in a few years. That’s mind-blowing.”
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ZeroAvia is a leader in zero-emission aviation, focused on hydrogen-electric aviation solutions to address a variety of markets, initially targeting a 300-mile range in 9–19 seat aircraft by 2025, and up to 700-mile range in 40–80 seat aircraft by 2027. Based in the UK and USA, ZeroAvia has already secured experimental certificates for its two-prototype aircraft from the CAA and FAA, passed significant flight test milestones, secured a number of key partnerships with major aircraft OEMs and major global airlines, and is on track for commercial operations in 2025. The company’s expanding UK operations are supported by grants from UK’s Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovate UK, and ZeroAvia is part of the UK Government’s Jet Zero Council. For more, please visit ZeroAvia.com, follow @ZeroAvia on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
About Birmingham Airport
Pre-pandemic, Birmingham Airport (BHX) served c12.5m passengers a year.
c35m people, more than half the population of the UK, live within a two-hour drive or train journey of BHX.
BHX is one of the West Midlands’ largest employers, supporting 30,900 jobs and contributing £1.5bn in GVA (gross value added) to the region’s economy.
In the years to 2033, BHX plans to increase its annual passenger numbers to +18m, which will result in GVA rising to £2.1bn and jobs supported to 34,000. Click here for more.
Sitting at the heart of the country’s road and rail networks, BHX is the UK’s best-connected airport—and is set to become even better connected in future.
When the new HS2 railway is built, complete with its automated people mover linking directly to the BHX terminal, central London will be just 37 minutes away by train.
BHX has publicly committed to become a net-zero-carbon airport by 2033. It will do this by prioritising zero carbon airport operations with minimal use of carbon offsets.
BHX’s purpose is ‘Proud of every journey.’ That means everyone at BHX, and the 100 organisations operating on the airport site, taking pride in getting customers safely, punctually and comfortably from A to B.