Airport Technology - Andrew Tunnicliffe

Ports of Jersey is leading the way for regional services with the ambitious aim of introducing hydrogen-powered flight

For its part, Ports of Jersey, which operates the harbour, ports, and airport on the island, is taking significant steps to clean the sector up; with other sustainability programmes on and around the channel island, located just off the coast of France.

Working with a relatively new entrant to the aviation sector Universal Hydrogen (UH2), which develops sustainable flight solutions through the use of hydrogen, and regional airline Blue Islands, the authority hopes to bring hydro-powered flight to some services as soon as 2025.

“UH2 are fast-tracking the decarbonisation of aviation by retrofitting existing aircraft,” says Macrae. “The fact that the Blue Islands fleet is made up of ATR regional aircraft, one of the airframes UH2 is converting; and that almost 98% of our electricity on-island is already carbon free, as it’s sourced from nuclear and hydro generation in France; almost made it a ‘no brainer’ for us to get involved in a partnership arrangement.”

The first offering from UH2 is a conversion kit for existing regional aircraft, namely the ATR72 – for which this partnership will see five of Blue Island’s fleet converted – and the De Havilland Canada Dash-8. It says the kit comprises a fuel cell electric powertrain that replaces the existing turboprop engines.

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