Partner airports to cooperate on green H2 infrastructure

It's a new partnership for sustainable airport operations: Hamburg Airport and New Zealand's Christchurch Airport will pursue their ambitious climate goals together in the future. Both airports have taken a pioneering role in decarbonisation in their country. Together, they now want to actively work towards the Net Zero climate goal, with a special focus on the future use of green hydrogen. By the end of 2035, Hamburg Airport aims to completely eliminate carbon dioxide emissions (Net Zero) and develop its own hydrogen infrastructure.

"We stand by our responsibility: sustainable airport operation with renewable energies is a building block for climate protection in aviation - we will consistently continue along this path. Keywords are wind power, solar energy, green hydrogen. Which solutions are suitable for airports and their respective locations must be individually examined and prepared. We are therefore all the more pleased to have gained an experienced partner in Christchurch International Airport. On an international level, we can pool our know-how to work towards CO2-free airport operations and a future with sustainably operated aircraft," says Michael Eggenschwiler, CEO at Hamburg Airport.

"Hamburg and Christchurch are both very ambitious to play their part in decarbonising aviation," says Malcolm Johns, Chief Executive of Christchurch Airport. "We realise that to do this we need partnerships like ours. For some time we have had monthly online meetings with members of the Hamburg Airport team, sharing information and knowledge and discussing and supporting each other's goals and achievements. Now it's time to set more common goals."

18,500 kilometres apart - but with common climate goals

Hamburg Airport and Christchurch International Airport have a very special geographical connection: At around 18,500 kilometres apart, they are located exactly on the opposite side of the globe. Within their sphere of influence, both airports have taken on a pioneering role in environmental protection. Hamburg Airport became the first major airport in Germany to operate on a CO2-neutral basis at the end of 2021 and has been raising awareness of green alternatives across the industry for more than 20 years. In late 2020, Christchurch was recognised as a global leader in airport decarbonisation when it became the first airport in the world to achieve Airport Carbon Accreditation Level 4. The airport is working to further reduce emissions - based on science-based targets aimed at limiting the global temperature rise caused by climate change to 1.5 degrees.

With the cooperation, both airports are now pooling their long-standing knowledge and jointly striving for the goal of completely eliminating carbon dioxide emissions and taking on a pioneering role for net-zero aviation in their country. Both partners want to actively prepare and promote the future use of green hydrogen as an emission-free energy carrier in aviation and exploit synergy effects. This involves both H2-powered vehicles on the ground and hydrogen-based aircraft propulsion systems to enable a sustainable future for aviation. In building a hydrogen infrastructure, airports face the challenge of developing suitable technical storage options - including for cryogenic liquefied hydrogen, the use of which in aviation appears possible by 2035. In this context, the use of green hydrogen for small aircraft will also have to be investigated.

In addition, technical and operational solutions are to be jointly identified with which CO2 emissions can be further reduced. Among other things, both airports see great potential in company-owned energy parks. Christchurch Airport is focusing on photovoltaics in its 400-hectare Kōwhai Park energy park, which was officially announced last December and is well on its way to becoming New Zealand's largest solar energy park. Hamburg Airport sees opportunities in the use of renewable wind power, including for the production of green hydrogen in the region.

Even before Hamburg Airport and Christchurch International Airport decided to enter into a formal partnership, they exchanged information about their environmental activities. They were networked by the German-New Zealand Centre for Green Hydrogen, Research, Networking and Outreach, based at the University of Otago New Zealand. It was developed under the co-leadership of Dr. Paul Jerabek (Institute for Hydrogen Technology, Helmholtz Centre Hereon Hamburg, Germany) and Prof. Sally Brooker (University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand). Commenting on the collaboration between Hamburg Airport and Christchurch International Airport, Prof. Sally Brooker says: "We look forward to continuing to support and facilitate the rapid development of both airports' zero-emissions ambitions, particularly with regard to green hydrogen."

via: Hamburg Airport