An electric aircraft was landed at Turku Airport with the traditional celebratory maiden flight water salute on Friday, said country´s airports operator Finavia in a press release.
Finavia's Chief Executive Officer Kimmo Mäki and pilot and flight instructor Antti Kirjavainen were on board the plane.
The flight of the electric aircraft will be part of the main airshow of the Finnish Aeronautical Association, scheduled to be held on 17–18 June at Turku Airport.
“It was a historic moment when the wheels of an electric aircraft touched the surface of the runway, turning a new page for the future of the airport. The entire aviation sector must use all possible means to reduce emissions. Silent and emission-free electric aircraft are one part of the aviation industry's climate solution,” said Kimmo Mäki.
Since 2017, Finavia has been working on the development of electric aviation through, for example, cooperation with the Helsinki Electric Aircraft Association.
“The electric aircraft that landed at Turku Airport today is a two-seater Pipistrel Alpha Electro. It has been specially developed for educational use. Due to its short take-off run and high take-off speed, the aircraft is very suitable for small airports,” said Janne Vasama, Chairman of the Electric Aircraft Association.
Electric aircraft play an important role in the climate solution for air traffic, but they alone will not revolutionise its future. It is estimated that electric aircraft are best suited to short distances and small passenger numbers. Presently, the range of electric aircraft is 120 kilometres, with a few passengers on board.
The key to reducing air traffic emissions is replacing kerosene with fossil-free propulsion, i.e. electricity, hydrogen and fuel made from renewable raw materials. It is likely that different propulsion systems will be used in parallel.