Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) has announced a partnership with AECOM to provide infrastructure services for its hybrid aircraft, Airlander.

AECOM and Hybrid Air Vehicles have signed a memorandum of understanding which sets out the basis and scope of a long-term infrastructure partnership. The consulting and advisory specialists will provide services including cost and carbon benchmarking, sustainability development, master planning, construction programme management and scheme delivery. The work will include advice on hydrogen supply infrastructure and transit interchange design.

AECOM will also provide end-to-end infrastructure partner services to facilitate the operation of the aircraft, which will deliver 90 per cent fewer emissions than other aircraft when it enters service in 2026. Airlander will run entirely on hydrogen by 2030 through fuel cell technology.

Infrastructure developments will include on site hydrogen preparation

HAV and AECOM will work together with HAV’s customers to develop the infrastructure to operate Airlander, including preparing for on site hydrogen for the hybrid-electric and all-electric Airlander 10 aircraft. AECOM will also work with HAV to develop the Airlander 10 manufacturing facility. Additional joint work on the larger Airlander 50 and other projects is expected.

Colin Wood, AECOM’s chief executive of Europe and India said: “We are excited to work with Hybrid Air Vehicles to develop infrastructure which will enable the transition to net zero aviation. Through our Sustainable Legacies strategy, AECOM is committed to ambitious environmental, social and governance targets. In practice this means advising and enabling our clients to realise and implement innovative technology which will cut carbon emissions.”

“Bold steps” needed to advance emerging sectors

He added: “Just a few months ago, speakers at COP26 called on industry to develop the solutions so desperately needed to limit global warming. Whilst there is no room for complacency, I’m proud of the work AECOM is doing to tackle this challenge head on by taking bold steps to advance new and emerging sectors which will help us achieve net zero.”

Tom Grundy, Hybrid Air Vehicles’ chief executive officer said: “The relationship between AECOM and Hybrid Air Vehicles is centred in our shared commitment to delivering net zero. This partnership matches AECOM’s world-leading experience and vision for the future of infrastructure with our ambition to deliver decarbonised air services through the game-changing Airlander aircraft. We urgently need to reduce emissions in aviation, so we will work with AECOM and Airlander operators to make zero emission flight for 100 passengers or ten tons of cargo a reality within the decade.”

FINN editor-in-chief Alan Peaford talked all things Airlander with CEO Tom Grundy at the Farnborough Airshow 2018

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