Iceland’s first electric aircraft has been cleared to fly, and pilots will begin training to operate the plane at the airport at Hella in Rangárvellir in the next few days, reports Vísir.
The plane arrived by ship in Iceland unassembled about six months ago. It is currently at Reykjavík Airport.
Friðrik Pálsson, hotel manager at Rangá, and Matthías Sveinbjörnsson, president of the Icelandic Aviation Association, and many sponsors purchased the plane. The company Rafmagnsflug ehf., which was founded for the project, moved the aircraft to Iceland. The company hopes to pioneer energy efficient flying in Iceland, train staff in this new technology, and introduce it to the people.
“This is the first registered Icelandic aircraft that runs solely on electricity,” says Matthías. Aircraft mechanics have been trained to operate electric aircraft. “And now the next step is just to start training pilots and then we can start allowing people to try,” says Matthías.
In a press release, the members of the project say that Iceland is in a unique position to be at the forefront of the world in terms of energy efficiency in aviation because of short domestic routes, good access to environmentally friendly electricity, as well as the country’s location between Europe and North America.
Friðrik agrees that the electrification of aviation marks a turning point.
“And more than that. When electric cars were starting up, there were many who did not believe in it. Since then, there has been a revolution in thinking. Many people are talking today about the fact that we will see flight become the most environmentally friendly mode of transport. And then we also take into account that it will be more environmentally friendly than electric cars,” says Friðrik.
“It’s not just environmentally friendly. This is also cheaper. This is simpler to operate. This is quiet. There are so many things that come with this and absolutely steps that we have to take and try to hurry as fast in the direction that there will be a real energy exchange in flight,” says Matthías.
Swedish flight instructor Rickard Carlsson arrived in Iceland yesterday to train four Icelandic flight instructors to operate the plane.
A press release states that for the time being it is realistic to focus on energy efficiency with smaller aircraft and then in domestic passenger flights. In order to make energy efficiency possible, key parties will need to cooperate, such as airlines, airports and energy companies.
“There are parties that are producing aircraft now who are more or less convinced that by the beginning of 2026, nineteen-seat aircraft will have started flying, both here in Iceland for that reason, and in many parts of Europe,” Friðrik says.
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