Hydrogen-powered vehicles, including fuel-cell electric ground vehicles and aircraft, are emerging, and manufacturers are developing jet and turboprop propulsion systems using hydrogen as a fuel. It is estimated that hydrogen-powered aircraft could become operational around 2035. The integration of hydrogen-powered aircraft and other vehicles could be very challenging for airports, given that these new vehicles will likely require significant updates to airport infrastructure, operations, and safety protocols. Because the technology is evolving quickly, there is limited understanding of hydrogen power and considerable uncertainty about the timing and degree of market penetration of hydrogen-powered vehicles at airports.
The objectives of this research are to (1) provide airports with an overview of the market for and trends related to hydrogen-powered aircraft and other vehicles; (2) develop a guide to help airports understand the potential for these activities at their facilities; and (3) identify likely facility, operational, safety, and staffing requirements needed to accommodate the transportation, use, and storage of hydrogen at airports.