ZeroAvia & AGS Airports Team Up to Bring Zero-Emission Flights to Scotland
November 2, 2022
Zero-emission aviation pioneer and AGS Airports to collaborate on hydrogen fuel infrastructure and launching zero-emission routes in first-of-a-kind partnership for the UK
Kemble & Glasgow, UK, November 2, 2022: ZeroAvia, the leader in developing zero-emission solutions for commercial aviation, today announced an agreement with AGS Airports to explore the development of hydrogen fuel infrastructure, regulatory framework requirements and resourcing required for delivering zero-emission flights from Aberdeen and Glasgow airports.
The team at AGS, which owns and operates Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports, will work closely with ZeroAvia’s specialist airport infrastructure team to assess the opportunities for hydrogen production onsite, as well as exploring potential commercial routes.
Switching some routes to aircraft powered by ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric powertrain will help AGS Airports to significantly reduce Scope 3 carbon emissions from aircraft and reduce noise and air quality impacts locally. At the same time, AGS will explore how hydrogen can be used to remove emissions across ground operations, further extending the impact.
ZeroAvia will share its experience in developing and operating its Hydrogen Airport Refuelling Ecosystem (HARE) at Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire. The partners will work towards a flight demonstration powered by ZeroAvia’s ZA600 600kW hydrogen-electric engine, which is on a path towards certification by 2025. Commercial routes from Scotland’s biggest city, Glasgow, could follow soon after.
The agreement will form an important part of AGS Airports’ drive to reach net zero carbon emissions by the middle of the next decade. The airport operator’s sustainability strategy is market-leading in its ambition for tackling environmental impact from flight.
Arnab Chatterjee, VP Infrastructure, ZeroAvia, said:
“In recent months, we have stepped up our work with airports significantly to better understand the operational needs and requirements for hydrogen as a fuel. Working with the team at AGS allows us to plan for some of the commercial routes that we will be able to support in a little over two years’ time, and do so in the setting of a major international airport.”
Derek Provan, Chief Executive of AGS Airports, said:
“The development of hydrogen powered aircraft has the potential to completely revolutionise aviation, and it is becoming an increasingly viable option for regional and short-haul aircraft. As a regional airport group serving the Highlands and Islands of Scotland as well as the Channel Islands from Southampton, AGS will be the perfect testbed for hydrogen flight. Through our partnership with ZeroAvia we’ll address some of the challenges associated with the generation, delivery and storage of hydrogen on-site and how we can prepare our infrastructure to support zero emission flights.”
Scottish Minister for Transport, Jenny Gilruth, said:
“This is an encouraging development as hydrogen has the potential to be a true zero emission fuel and could play a key role in helping the Scottish aviation sector reach net zero. Many of the routes that operate from Glasgow and Aberdeen to airports across the Highlands and Islands are served by small aircraft and real social, economic and environmental benefits could be delivered by cleaner, quieter and lower cost aircraft. I congratulate AGS Airports and ZeroAvia on this partnership and will follow its progress with interest.”
Zero-emission route flights will better connect Scotland’s major cities to remote areas in the Highlands and Islands, but also to other parts of the UK within the next few years. Given the reduced operating costs and lower noise profile offered by hydrogen-electric engines, operating more flights becomes attractive and can thus boost regional economic growth. Aircraft relevant to ZeroAvia’s first commercial offering (ZA600) already operate from Glasgow, and there is a potential to expand zero-emission flights across the AGS group to Aberdeen and Southampton.
The ZA600 is designed to power 9–19 seat aircraft up to 300 nautical miles, and will soon be flight tested for the first time in a 19-seat Dornier 228. ZeroAvia’s mission is to deliver hydrogen-electric engines in every aircraft, having identified the technology as the most practical, economical, and furthest reaching solution for reducing aviation’s climate change and clean air impacts. 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’s infrastructure team is working to deliver low-cost, low-carbon, resilient and reliable hydrogen to decarbonise airport ecosystems and fuel hydrogen-electric powertrains. The team is working with airports and other partners to deliver last-mile hydrogen delivery and refuelling infrastructure to support airline operators, supported either by upstream fuel supplier partnerships or building of distributed production infrastructure.
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.
ZeroAvia Press Team
About AGS Airports
AGS Airports Limited was established in 2014 to invest in Aberdeen International, Glasgow and Southampton airports and is the second largest airport group in the UK.
AGS Airports Limited is jointly held by Ferrovial (via Faero UK Limited) and AGS Ventures Airports Limited, an entity controlled by Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 4 LP.
AGS Airports supports tens of thousands of jobs and contributes in excess of £2 billion in GVA to the UK economy every year. In 2021, AGS launched its sustainability strategy, setting out how it will balance the undoubted economic and social benefits of aviation with its climate change responsibilities. AGS has:
Reduced its direct carbon emissions by 52% since 2018.
Achieved carbon neutrality in 2020.
Has committed to achieving net zero for direct emissions by the mid-2030s.