The solution is electric aircraft and this will contribute to a completely new way of thinking about transportation.
We travel because we have to work. We travel, because we are going to weddings, on vacation or if we have illness in the family. Traveling is also building bridges across national borders and leading to increased understanding of each other. We must acknowledge that we will not stop traveling.
In Norway, we have a challenging topography and great distances that make the transport stages long and not environmentally friendly. Driving a car 30 miles gives more CO2 emissions than if you choose to sit on a plane instead. Those who live in Eastern Norway may be the last to tell people in other parts of the country that they must stop traveling because it is not environmentally friendly. There is no doubt that people want to travel more environmentally friendly. Therefore, the discussion must rather be about innovation and new technology. We have to offer easily accessible and «green» ways of travel that allow us to make smart choices.
Why not just the trains?
Trains are good, but will never be able to replace aircraft as a form of transport in Norway. It is not realistic to have a train service across the country. Trains are primarily important in local and intercity contexts. And we may well agree that double-track for lightning trains across Hardangervidda is not an environmentally friendly alternative.
And that is precisely why there is an urgent need for electric aircraft. This will be a significantly greener and far more flexible alternative than trains. We hear the airline industry boasting ever more environmentally friendly aircraft, and that’s right. We know that passenger growth is so great that net CO2 emissions increase, we must work more drastically than buying away the bad conscience with climate quotas.
Electric aircraft manufacturers say that the first aircraft can be in the air and in commercial operation somewhere between 2023 and 2025. The advent of electric aircraft also requires us to think new about air routes and airports. In the first place it will be realistic to envisage smaller aircraft and shorter routes than we are used to today.
Electric aircraft can not only replace traditional aircraft. It can also play a larger and greener role in Norwegian transport. And perhaps most importantly; Without a good flight offer in the future, it will be dark in many Norwegian settlements. As we see it, electric aircraft are the only real option we have to reach our climate commitments.