Roadmap to more sustainable flying
If policy remains unchanged, the share of global CO2 emissions from aviation could increase from 2% to more than 20% by 20501. In the Luchtvaartnota2 (aviation memorandum), the Netherlands has set ambitions for sustainable aviation, including the goal to fully electrify commercial short-haul aviation by 2050.
The ministry asked NACO and NLR to draw up a roadmap for the implementation of electric flying in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The study is the first to give integrated attention to the aviation ecosystem of stakeholders and all technical, logistical, energy and financial aspects that play a role in the design of electric aviation. For example, the availability of the devices and batteries, the layout and logistics at the airports, charging technology, (renewable) energy facilities and costs were examined.
The study mentions several challenges. On the aircraft side, these include developing batteries, certifying new aircraft and scaling up production to meet demand. On the ground, these are adapting the infrastructure and legislation and regulations, setting up sustainable energy sources and answering to the peak in energy demand during charging. Despite the challenges, the researchers support the conclusion that it will be possible in the foreseeable future for electrically powered aircraft, with a capacity of up to 19 passengers on routes up to 200 km, to structurally take over the role of traditional aviation. This offers additional opportunities for regional aviation.