A new plane has already been used for demonstration purposes, but the aim is obvious: Norway pushes to electrify all domestic flights by 2040. Will Norway Be The First Market For Electric Commercial Flights?
State-owned Norwegian airport operator Avinor has been collaborating with partners in the aviation industry on a development and innovation project for electric aircraft, and the first commercial routes are expected before 2030.
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A new report
Last month, a report from Avinor and the country’s Civil Aviation Authority stated that electric planes could be a boon to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and tackling climate change. So far, however, there are no airliner-size electric-powered aircraft being built yet, so that’s a major barrier.
Nevertheless, the project is backed by the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications, and ZERO, Widerøe and SAS are also supporting the project designed to bring Norway’s first electric aircraft to the country.
A multitude of small, short-haul airports
Norway is a large country which has a multitude of small, short-haul airports. In the Northern most section of the country, there are 16 airports within 217 miles (350 km) of Alta, a central airport hub. There are popular regular trips between these airports, as flights are far quicker and far more direct compared to driving.
“Electric aircraft are set to significantly improve the environmental consequences of the aviation industry. 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”, explained Dag Falk-Petersen, CEO of Avinor.
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10 hour by car – 80 minutes by air
For example, driving from Andenes to Alta would take more than 10 hours, and involve a lot of difficult and convoluted driving. On the other hand, a flight takes about 90 minutes.
The board of directors from Avinor visited Airbus in Toulouse about five years ago and were told that the company had been doing a lot of work in this area already. That is the reason Avinor decided to start a program to electrify the flights in Norway.
Will Norway Be The First Market For Electric Commercial Flights?
And Norway is a good place for such experiments. Much of the country’s terrain is mountainous and there are many offshore islands, which means there are a lot of short-haul flights (Avinor runs no fewer than 46 airports in Norway). Road, rail or boat travel often take a lot longer than a short flight, especially during the winter when snow and ice can block roads and tracks.
Will Norway Be The First Market For Electric Commercial Flights? Written by Tor Kjolberg