Norway’s first electric-powered flight takes to the skies
“The Norwegian government has tasked Avinor with developing a programme that paves the way for the introduction of electric aircraft in commercial aviation. It was a great experience to be part of this flight and witness the evolution of aviation,” says Norway’s Minister of Transport and Communications Ketil Solvik-Olsen.
“At Avinor, we want to demonstrate that electric aircraft are already available on the market, as well as help make Norway a pioneer of electric aviation in the same way as the country has become a pioneer of electric cars,” says Avinor’s CEO Dag Falk-Petersen.
“Along with energy saving measures, the ongoing modernisation of aircraft fleets and the introduction of sustainable biofuel, electric aircraft can help to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions from Norwegian aviation in the coming decades. As electric engines cost must less to operate than current engines, this will result in lower prices for flight tickets,” says CEO Falk-Petersen.
Avinor and aviation industry partners are working to help Norway become a world leader in electric aviation. The objectives are for Norway to be the first country where electric aircraft account for a significant share of the market, and to electrify Norwegian domestic aviation by 2040. The project is supported by the government, and the project partners are Widerøe, SAS, the Norwegian Association of Air Sports, and climate foundation ZERO.
“We’d especially like to thank the Norwegian Association of Air Sports in connection with this flight. The association has gone to great lengths and played a vital role in preparations for the flight,” says Falk-Petersen.
Evaluating tools and consequences
Avinor does not intend to charge landing fees for electric-powered light aircraft and will allow them to recharge at no cost until 2025. The government has asked Avinor to develop a programme for the introduction of electric aircraft. This will involve an evaluation of the various tools required to make the electrification of passenger aviation a success. In addition, Avinor will consider other key consequences, including possible conflicts between objectives, consequences for the climate and environment, and the effect on competition in Norwegian aviation.
Norway is well-suited to the electrification of aviation
With its vast mountainous regions and huge distances between towns and cities, Norway depends on an efficient aviation sector. The country has many airports spread the length and breadth of the country. This results in sometimes short flights with relatively few passengers.
“The Norwegian short-leg domestic network is ideal for trialling the first commercial electric-powered flights, which are expected to have a limited range and capacity,” says CEO Falk-Petersen.
“There is also a great political willingness in Norway to establish a framework that promotes electrification in other transport sectors, such as road traffic and ferries. In addition, Norway’s capacity for renewable energy makes electrification particularly attractive from a climate perspective,” emphasises Falk-Petersen.
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