France is supporting hydrogen-fuelled air travel through a range of different measures.
France is in general supporting its aerospace industry with €15bn, with €1.5bn over 3 years going toward hydrogen air travel, to build a green jetliner. France wants to develop a carbon-neutral success to the A320, Europe’s best-selling jet. Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, said “Our target is to have a carbon-neutral airplane in 2035 instead of 2050, thanks especially to an (ultra-efficient) engine using hydrogen”.
There are also two efforts to develop greener refuelling capability at Toulouse (major European aerospace industrial hub) airport.
The companies Gaussin and Total are teaming up to create the world’s first full electric “ART” (Aircraft Refueller Transporter). The prototype, a lithium ion battery vehicle, will be capable of towing two fuel tankers with a total of 60 tons fuel capacity. They expect to finish the project by the end of 2020.
The Toulouse-Blagnac Airport will also be the first airport in the world to develop its own green hydrogen production and distribution station. Construction will start this year. It will be used to fuel the airport’s buses and various aeronautical and industrial applications.
HYPORT, an ENGIE Solutions subsidiary, and the Regional Agency for Energy and Climate Occitania (AREC) will finance, build and operate the infrastructure.