Lelystad Electric AirPort
On March 15th local elections will take place on provincial level. In Flevoland where I live several things are at stake, and one of them Lelystad AirPort.
“Last month, ZeroAvia flew a 19-seat Dornier 228, the largest commercial aircraft to date powered by hydrogen fuelled electricity cell to date.”
Lelystad Airport is a regional airport located in the Netherlands, intended to relieve the capacity constraints of Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. The airport was originally scheduled to begin commercial operations in April 2018, but its opening has been delayed several times due to environmental and safety concerns as in noise pollution and runway safety. The Dutch government has announced that the airport will not open for commercial flights until November 2024 at the earliest, as additional safety measures and environmental assessments are still needed.
The decision has been criticized by some political parties and industry groups who argue that the airport is necessary to meet the growing demand for air travel in the region.
However how to catch two flies in one stroke?
Flevoland is a province in the Netherlands that is known for its focus on renewable energy. The province has set ambitious targets for the development of renewable energy, including wind, solar, and geothermal power.
Flevoland has a total installed capacity of more then one GW of wind power and over 200 MW of solar power, including the 4 kW on my roof. This makes Flevoland one of the leading provinces in the Netherlands in terms of renewable energy capacity.
There are several foreseeable plans for the further development of renewable energy in Flevoland. For example, the province has set a target of producing 400 MW of solar power by 2025, which would more than double the current capacity. In addition, the province is planning to develop several new wind farms, including the Windplan Groen project, which is expected to generate up to 320 MW of wind power by 2024 and fortunately not entirely consumed by the now cancelled Meta hyperscale datacenter.
Flevoland is committed to the development of renewable energy and has set ambitious targets for the future. The province's focus on renewable energy is expected to continue to drive the development of green power in the region in the coming years. Of course depending the coming elections.
However in line whit this ambition why not convert Lelystad AirPort to the world firsts major all electric airfield?
Converting Lelystad Airport to an all-electric airfield could provide several benefits for the Dutch industry, which excels in electric engineering and logistics, including:
Environmental benefits: An all-electric airport would significantly reduce carbon emissions and other pollutants associated with traditional jet fuel. This could help the Netherlands meet its climate targets and improve local air quality. Including the hotly debated nitrogen oxides pollution.
Innovation and job creation: Converting Lelystad Airport to an all-electric airfield would require significant investment in new technologies and infrastructure, creating opportunities for innovation and job creation in the Dutch industry like smart grids with battery technology.
Improved public perception: The aviation industry is often criticized for its environmental impact. Converting Lelystad Airport to an all-electric airfield could improve public perception of the industry and make it more attractive to environmentally-conscious travelers and businesses.
Reduced noise pollution: Electric aircraft are generally quieter than traditional aircraft, which could help reduce noise pollution in the surrounding area and improve quality of life for nearby residents. Like me!
Overall, converting Lelystad Airport to an all-electric airfield could provide significant benefits for the Dutch industry, the environment, and my surrounding community.
It would require significant investment and support from the government, the aviation industry, and other stakeholders. However as the aviation has set the goal to be emissions free in 2050 investments are increasing. And besides the Reduced Carbon Emissions, Noise Reduction and Improved Air Quality it also leads to some other benefits of an all-electric airport.
Lower Operating Costs: Electric aircraft are much cheaper to operate than traditional aircraft. They have fewer moving parts and require less maintenance, which means that airlines would be able to save a significant amount of money on operating costs. Additionally, electric aircraft are much cheaper to fuel than traditional aircraft, which would further reduce operating costs for airlines.
Increased Reliability and Safety: Electric aircraft are more reliable than traditional aircraft. They have fewer mechanical parts, which means that there are fewer things that can go wrong. Additionally, electric aircraft are more efficient than traditional aircraft, which means that they are less likely to experience delays due to mechanical problems.
Increased Passenger Comfort: Electric aircraft are much quieter than traditional aircraft, which means that passengers would have a more comfortable and peaceful flight experience. Additionally, electric aircraft are much smoother and more comfortable to ride in, which would further improve the passenger experience.
In conclusion, an all-electric airport offers many benefits, including reduced carbon emissions, noise reduction, lower operating costs, improved air quality, public perception, increased reliability, and increased passenger comfort. While there are still some challenges to overcome, such as the limited range of electric aircraft, it is clear that the aviation industry is moving in the right direction by exploring the potential of all-electric airports.
The state of art is that there are already several electric planes currently under development that are scheduled for commercial use this decade.
Here are some examples:
ZeroAvia: developing the zero-emission powertrain (click the above foto for their website), already funded by Royal Schiphol Group and important stakeholder in Lelystad AirPort. This powertrain can be used on existing aircraft as a quick win.
Alice: Alice is an electric aircraft being developed by Eviation Aircraft, a company based in Israel. It is designed to carry nine passengers for up to 650 miles on a single charge. It is expected to begin commercial operations in 2024.
Velis Electro: Velis Electro is an all-electric aircraft developed by Pipistrel, a company based in Slovenia. It is designed for pilot training and is already certified for commercial operations in Europe.
Heart Aerospace ES-19: The ES-19 is an electric aircraft being developed by Heart Aerospace, a company based in Sweden. It is designed to carry up to 19 passengers for up to 250 miles on a single charge. The company plans to begin commercial operations in 2026.
These are just a few examples of electric planes under development that are scheduled for commercial use this decade. Many other companies and organizations are also working on developing electric aircraft, and it is likely that we will see more electric planes enter commercial service in the coming years.
I’m living in the approaches towards Lelystad Airport and witnessed a very low 747 flyover with engines throttled down. Probably doing noise level tests. I rather see that those jumbo’s stay at Schiphol and I only get to see a new generation of electric aircraft in my backyard.
So I make sure to vote on a party which could supports such a vision. It’s engineering our way out of the current problems.