Preparing for Hydrogen at Airports

Interest in and use of hydrogen in the airport environment is expected to grow as manufacturers are quickly developing new types of vehicles and systems that use hydrogen as a fuel. Additionally, many airports have established net-zero emissions goals. All these factors are driving a need for joint efforts to renew and improve energy infrastructure in and around airports.  The integration of hydrogen as a fuel for both aircraft and ground vehicles could be challenging for airports, given that it 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, readiness, and practical implications of using hydrogen at airports.  The objectives of this research are to identify likely facility, operational, safety, and workforce requirements needed to accommodate the generation, supply, transportation, handling, use, and storage of hydrogen at U.S. airports, and to develop a guide to help airport practitioners understand the potential for hydrogen uptake at their facilities. Considerations should include, at a minimum: (1) Impacts (positive and negative) and mitigative efforts that airport-driven hydrogen uptake may have on communities, with a focus on equity and environmental justice; (2) Uptake of liquid vs. gaseous vs. cryogenic hydrogen and strategic/capital risk mitigation considerations for airport managers; (3) Training airport staff; (4) Public safety issues, including firefighting and emergency management; (5) Production methods and sustainability performance; (6) Community engagement; (7) National, state, and local regulatory considerations; (8) Hydrogen infrastructure needs and siting considerations, including codes and permitting; (9) Hydrogen infrastructure drivers, e.g., interest from aircraft manufacturers, ground equipment operators, travel providers, etc.;  (10) Awareness of the airport’s role in the greater hydrogen economy in a way that complies with FAA grant assurances; (11) Specific planning activities in the short, medium, and long term; and (12) Best practices from current hydrogen uses (safety, environmental, permitting, etc.).


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $325000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 03-75

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Griffin, Matthew

  • Start Date: 20240205
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01889752
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 03-75
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 8 2023 6:43AM