NXT Airport is a living lab. Within NXT Airport, companies, governments and knowledge institutions come together. Projects are carried out that focus on innovation, energy and education with a focus on making aviation more sustainable.

NXT Airport is a living lab

NXT Airport is a programme and venue where different organisations come together that deal with education, energy, innovation to contribute to making the aviation sector more sustainable.


NXT Airport is a programme of Groningen Airport Eelde in which various projects on aviation innovation, sustainability, knowledge development and green energy are carried out by companies, knowledge institutions and governments. NXT Airport has been embraced by many partners who together devise and implement projects that contribute to knowledge development and more sustainable, innovative aviation.

NXT Airport:

  • drives innovation at the airport;

  • increases the socio-economic value of the airport infrastructure;

  • is the link between business, education and government on innovation and sustainability in aviation;

  • creates a Living Lab, more training courses and a unique learning workplace at Groningen Airport Eelde;

  • creates more business activity at and around the airport and in RLS 1957;

  • contributes to the energy transition in the northern Netherlands;

  • contributes to the further development of Europe’s first Hydrogen Valley;

  • helps the aviation sector towards a sustainable future;

  • drives innovation in the field of electric flying, unmanned aviation including droning and green energy;

  • creates new (knowledge) networks, activity and jobs.

Built on the following four pillars, the programme is a unique high-quality test site for various projects around these four key themes.

Education: Groningen Airport Eelde as a place to learn

Groningen Airport Eelde lends itself pre-eminently as a testing ground and breeding ground for innovation. The airport is small, secure, flexible, has space and short lines of communication. As a result, there are many opportunities for research and testing. The airport works with many (regional) partners with which various cooperation clusters have emerged, including the NXT Airport Campus. In a short time, this has led, for example, to 120 MBO students from Noorderpoort and Alfa College finding a unique place to learn and work at Groningen Airport Eelde. Students from the University of Groningen, Hanzehogeschool, NHL-Stenden University, Deltion College and the Hogeschool van Amsterdam have already found an interesting, instructive environment there for various assignments, internships and challenges!

Innovation, Energy & Sustainability: aviation of the future

Under the umbrella of NXT Airport, projects in the fields of electric flight, zero-emission ground operation, unmanned flight, XVR, education and green energy are underway. Among other things, the airport is thus developing into an energy hub: using its 22MW GroenLeven solar park as a springboard, the airport is working with partners on electrolysis and energy storage. A leading project is ‘GRQ Hydrogen Valley Airport‘; the realisation of a complete hydrogen ecosystem at the airport. From production of green hydrogen to its use by third parties and the airport itself. With other partners, the airport is working on electric flight; future-proofing the airport infrastructure to handle future battery electric- and hydrogen-powered aircraft, but also to develop future routes that can be operated with this type of airlines; connecting smaller European cores.

Our pillars we build on!

GRQ Hydrogen Valley Airport

Europe’s first “GRQ Hydrogen Valley Airport” is under development at Groningen Airport Eelde (GRQ).


Our NXT Partners