Eelde wants to become a test airport for hydrogen aircraft Airbus and Fokker

Groningen Airport Eelde is in consultation with aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Fokker about testing hydrogen-powered aircraft. That should happen at the airport from 2027.

The northern airport signed a letter of intent for this last week, which also involves energy giants such as Shell, RWE, Engie and Gasunie, because test flights also require transport pipelines for liquid hydrogen. Together they head to Brussels to secure a European subsidy for the tests there.

Partners are also participating in the project NOM, province of Drenthe, New Energy Coalition, Conscious Aerospace, Groningen Seaports, Airbus and Fokker and the Netherlands Aerospace Center. The infrastructure for hydrogen production and transport must be realized in the coming years so that tests with hydrogen-powered devices can start from 2027.

Most sustainable airport in Europe

Groningen Ariport Eelde wants to lead the way in flying on hydrogen and is the first to announce it Hydrogen Valley Airport in the Netherlands. It has the ambition to become the most sustainable test airport in Europe. A new step was taken in this on Thursday, when the Drenthe deputy Tjisse Stelpstra unveiled a hydrogen generator that powers aircraft on the ground. A world first according to the airport.

The device was developed by Holthausen Clean Technology from Hoogezand, a specialist in hydrogen vehicles, in collaboration with the University of Groningen and MBO schools in the North. “It is a prototype, but we hope that the generator will be put into production as soon as possible. Isn’t it great, invented in the North”, says director Meiltje de Groot of Groningen Airport Eelde. Recent research by the University of Groningen shows that hydrogen generators can reduce aviation emissions by ten percent. KLM and Leeuwarden Air Base have already shown interest in the device.

Solar park

Groningen Airport Eelde wants to run its vehicles for ground handling at the airport on hydrogen in the foreseeable future. It uses the huge solar park for this at the airport, converting solar energy into hydrogen. To this end, the airport is working on the construction of an electrolyser on the site. In in the near future there will also be a hydrogen filling station and a battery storage facility where electricity will be stored.