Manchester Airport on Track to Become UK’s First Hydrogen Fuel Airport

Manchester Airport has unveiled plans to become the first UK airport with a direct supply of low carbon hydrogen fuel

Manchester Airport has unveiled plans to become the first UK airport with a direct supply of low carbon hydrogen fuel, announcing a partnership with HyNet – one of the UK’s leading Government-backed industrial decarbonisation projects.

The airport has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the two founding partners of HyNet. Progressive Energy, which develops projects to decarbonise the energy sector, and Cadent, which will build and operate HyNet’s hydrogen pipeline network.

Through the MoU, the partners are aiming to deliver hydrogen to the aviation sector at the earliest opportunity, including through the connection of Manchester Airport to a pipeline being developed by HyNet.

Hydrogen technology will play a key role in decarbonising the aviation sector with hydrogen-powered aircraft expected to come into operation from the mid-2030s for short-haul journeys. A research project conducted by FlyZero involving Manchester Airports Group (MAG) estimated that the demand for liquid hydrogen at an airport the size of Manchester could be 6.5 million litres a day by 2050.

HyNet brings together the technology and infrastructure needed to move the region rapidly zero future, including producing low carbon hydrogen that can be used to power aircraft of the future. As a result of the MoU signed today, the partners will work together to assess the future demand for hydrogen for aviation and explore the feasibility to connect Manchester Airport to HyNet’s regional network.

With this connection, the airport aims to be the first to establish a direct pipeline of hydrogen, to supply any of its 60+ airlines with the sustainable fuel at the earliest opportunity, forming a key component of wider plans to decarbonise flying. The process also aims to drive innovation and the creation of green jobs for the region.

Chris Woodroofe, Managing Director, Manchester Airport said:

“This announcement demonstrates the meaningful action we are taking to ensure we can deliver a carbon-free future for the aviation industry.

“The partnership between Manchester Airport and HyNet is a significant step forward for the future use of hydrogen across the North West, building a more sustainable future for the region.

“By securing a direct supply of hydrogen for our airport, our 60 airlines will be able to make use of this exciting and ground-breaking technology as soon as possible.

“The use of hydrogen will make a significant contribution to the UK aviation sector’s decarbonisation efforts and supports industry partners in reaching net zero.”