Key players in the Australian aviation and green hydrogen industries have officially launched the Hydrogen Flight Alliance (HFA) at Brisbane Airport.

The aim of the new alliance is to ensure Australia plays a leading role in the aviation industry’s transition towards net-zero by 2050. Its initial focus will be on enabling Australia’s first commercial emission free hydrogen-powered flight between Brisbane Airport and Gladstone Airport in 2026. This route will be operated by Skytrans Airlines using a 15-seat Stralis B1900D-HE aircraft, designed and built in Brisbane. The only emissions from the tailpipe of this aircraft will be water vapour. Both cities already have significant green hydrogen developments underway, making them ideal locations to launch the first hydrogen electric aircraft routes in Australia, the HFA said.

Stralis Aircraft will begin flight testing its hydrogen-electric-powered six-seat Beechcraft Bonanza demonstrator aircraft in early 2024. These flights will occur in South East Queensland, enabling the alliance to gain real world experience operating and refuelling hydrogen aircraft.

Brisbane is planning for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games to be a climate positive event. The HFA is working to enable the vision of athletes being flown around Queensland during the games on locally built emission free aircraft. 

Formation of this alliance will establish a clean technology innovation hub in Queensland, generating world class jobs, training programmes and emission free aircraft manufacturing, its members said.  

“Green hydrogen will be a game changer in decarbonising heavy haulage, shipping, manufacturing, and aviation, while also slashing emissions, helping tackle climate change and safeguarding natural tourism wonders for generations to come.

“This new alliance has an incredible opportunity to put Queensland in the cockpit to pilot the nation’s aviation clean energy revolution,” said Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, the Honourable Mick de Brenni MP.

Image: Skytrans Airlines