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New Mexico to Become a Hydrogen Hub for Aviation, Part of a Large-Scale Project

Hydrogen commercial aircraft are only a few years away, according to companies such as Los-Angeles based Universal Hydrogen, which is gearing up to bring zero-emissions airplanes to the market as soon as 2025. On its path to achieving that, one of the boldest steps is the recent investment in a manufacturing and distribution center in New Mexico.
Universal Hydrogen will build state-of-the-art facilities in New Mexico 6 photos
Photo: Instagram/Universal Hydrogen
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New Mexico could become a hydrogen hub for aviation in the next few years. Universal Hydrogen has acquired a 50-acre property close to the Albuquerque International Sunport, which also provides strategic access to a runway.

This is where the company will build its newest facilities for manufacturing and distributing its proprietary hydrogen storage modules. This is also where it will assemble retrofit kits and provide maintenance for retrofitted airplanes.

The project is a complex one, with an estimated two-year construction time and an investment of more than $250 million, including support from the City of Albuquerque. Universal Hydrogen has developed capsules that can be used for storing hydrogen during transit and that can be loaded directly inside the aircraft, as modular tanks.

One of the main advantages of this technology is that it enables the transportation of hydrogen using infrastructure that already exists so that there are no additional costs related to new pipes or storage facilities.

The Los Angeles company has big plans for its modular fueling solution, aiming to implement it on large airliners and drones, as well as extending it to land-based transportation and industrial equipment. Until then, it’s focusing on retrofitting existing regional turboprop aircraft. More than ten air carriers have already agreed with Universal Hydrogen to retrofit their regional aircraft, adding up to almost 100, which will start flying on hydrogen as soon as 2025, when they will be certified by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). These are mostly Dash 8-300 and ATR 72 models.

The future New Mexico facilities for decarbonizing aviation are planned to kick off operations by 2024.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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