Airport operator buys first electric plane, for delivery next summer
Norway’s airport operator Avinor and the Norwegian Air Sports Federation have banded together to buy the country’s first electric aircraft using technology that could be used in commercial aircraft in the future.
The light aircraft is set to be delivered next summer and will primarily be used for demonstration purposes, Avinor says.
Electric planes represent completely new opportunities for air travel, and several international manufacturers are currently working on developing this field. The first commercial routes using electric aircraft are expected by 2030, and Avinor hopes Norway will be the technology’s testing ground.
“Electric aircraft are set to significantly improve the environmental consequences of the aviation industry”, explains Avinor CEO Dag Falk-Petersen. “It could also be cheaper to fly as operating costs for several aircraft models will be considerably lowered, which will have an impact on ticket prices.”
He says the airport operator wants Norway to take a leading role at an international level when it comes to electric aircraft and is collaborating with partners in the aviation industry on a development and innovation project.
The aim is for Norway to become the first market in which electric aircraft represent a significant share of the market.
The project is backed by the country’s transport ministry, while the environmental organisation ZERO and airlines Widerøe and SAS are said to be supporting the project.
Contract with Slovenia
The aircraft on order will come from what Avinor describes as “one of Europe’s largest aircraft manufacturers”, Pipistrel in Slovenia. The Alpha Electro G2 is the first electric two-seater to be approved for commercial series production. Its range is about 130 kilometres and it can remain airborne for about an hour per charging.
Falk-Petersen is a certified pilot and has invited Transport Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen to join him on the first flight as soon as the aircraft arrives in Norway.