Costain has been appointed by the Aerospace Technology Institute’s (ATI) FlyZero project to explore the feasibility of bringing hydrogen-powered planes into operation by the end of the decade.
Costain’s remit includes assessing the practical and regulatory requirements for the safe and efficient ground operations needed to support hydrogen-powered aircraft as well as the commercial implications of these requirements and future operations.
Led by the ATI and backed by the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, FlyZero is a one-of-a-kind research project aiming to realise zero-carbon emission commercial aviation by 2030. The project is bringing experts together from across the UK to conduct a detailed and holistic study of the design challenges, manufacturing demands, operational requirements and market opportunity of potential zero-carbon emission aircraft concepts.
To support this, Costain will assess the conditions required for storing hydrogen and the impact of its use on turnaround times of planes at airports. It will explore the role of technology in facilitating the safe and efficient use of hydrogen including by identifying opportunities to automate aspects of the turnaround process. These findings will also provide a better understanding of the commercial drivers which would influence the uptake of hydrogen by airports and airlines.
Andy Clarke, integrated transport director, said: “At Costain, we’re committed to working collaboratively to play our part in realising the commitments set out in the Department for Transport’s decarbonisation strategy and in our own Climate Change Action Plan, which provides a pathway to net zero by 2035.
“We recognise that aviation plays a vital role in moving people and goods, creating social and economic benefit. With the creative and innovative use of technology we can ensure that aviation is at the heart of the green transport revolution, helping to lead the way for others. We’ll be drawing on our industry-leading hydrogen capability from hydrogen feasibility studies such as Hy-value and HYDERUS, plus our role leading the South Wales Industrial Cluster, to help make this happen.”
Mark Howard, head of commercial strategy for FlyZero said: “FlyZero is investigating the advanced technologies needed to deliver zero-carbon emission air travel including hydrogen and electric and our holistic approach recognises the operation and commercial viability of these aircraft is an essential piece of the puzzle. Working with Costain will assist our detailed assessment of the next generation of commercial aircraft helping to ensure they deliver on sustainability as well as operational and commercial aspects.”