While the aviation industry reels from the impact of COVID-19, there are some in the sector who are planning for the future.
Airbus planted themselves firmly in this category with the announcement that they are exploring the possibility of developing the world’s first climate- neutral, zero-emission commercial aircraft.
Under the project codenamed “ZEROe”, Airbus unveiled three concepts of planes for varying passenger numbers and journey routes, all powered by Hydrogen. Unlike other fuels, Hydrogen when burned only produces water vapour.
Speaking to The Guardian, Guillaume Faury, the chief executive of Airbus called it a “historic moment for commercial aviation sector” and “the most important transition this industry has ever seen”.
In a nod to the growing climate activism, he added that: “the use of hydrogen – both in synthetic fuels and as a primary power source for commercial aircraft – has the potential to significantly reduce aviation’s climate impact”.
However, Airbus was quick to confirm at the announcement that any development of hydrogen-powered planes would need to be supported by increased investment from both airports and governments.
Airports would need to invest in infrastructure to accommodate the planes and Governments would need to invest in Research & Development and encourage sustainable fuels, Airbus noted.
So despite all the uncertainty surrounding the future of the aviation sector, there may be a silver lining on the horizon after all.