Four New Zealand businesses have come together to trial using hydrogen in an aviation setting for the first time in Aotearoa.

Air New Zealand, Wellington Airport, Toyota New Zealand, and Hiringa Energy have joined forces to trial using hydrogen to charge Air New Zealand’s electric tugs and service vehicles over the next few weeks at Wellington Airport.

“This is the first time hydrogen has been used at an airport in New Zealand and is an important step on the long-term journey to decarbonise aviation,” said Wellington Airport chief executive Matt Clarke.“The trial will help us assess the viability of hydrogen for charging and give us a good insight into the operational challenges and opportunities.”

The trial will be conducted using a hydrogen fuel cell provided by Toyota New Zealand. The fuel cell uses hydrogen to generate electricity, with supply coordinated by Hiringa Energy, a New Zealand-based clean energy company.

“It’s a privilege to be supporting Air New Zealand and Wellington Airport in demonstrating the safe use of hydrogen for use in aviation, said Hiringa Energy chief executive officer, Andrew Clennett.

“Green hydrogen has a significant role to play in decarbonising Aotearoa, and this programme is helping everyone to better understand the benefits of introducing hydrogen to airport operations as we prepare for hydrogen-powered aircraft in the future.”

The trial will run until March 15, 2024
The trial will run until March 15, 2024 Air New Zealand