As the global aviation sector faces increasing demands to get on a sustainable flightpath, one airport in northern Sweden has gained a head start. It aims to become Europe’s, and probably the world’s, first fossil-free airport. It is also preparing to become a test centre for electrically powered and vertical take-off aircraft.
In recent years, Skellefteå Airport has focused on developing new and innovative ways of speeding up the green transition. With a bold vision to become a fossil-free airport, Skellefteå Airport started working in three main focal areas:
• Fossil-free heating, using biofuel;
• Fossil-free electricity consumption, through certified green electricity; and
• Fossil-free fuels for vehicles, using electricity and HVO-100 biofuel.
Zero CO2 emissions
By adopting a holistic strategy, the airport was able to reach its goal of zero of fossil CO2 emissions. This was confirmed in 2020 by measurements using the Airport Carbon and Emissions Reporting Tool (ACERT). Skellefteå Airport now has fossil-free heating, energy and fuel, and is proposing more initiatives for faster environmental transition.
Test route for eVTOL
The next step in Skellefteå Airport’s plan for the green transformation of the transport sector will be to develop a test route for electrically powered and vertical take-off (‘eVTOL’) aircraft. It’s doing this with a number of partners in electrical power and advanced technology, such as Skellefteå Kraft, Northvolt, EIT InnoEnergy and Skellefteå Science City. The airport also participates in the FAIR and the Green Airport projects.
The project has been approved by the Swedish Energy Agency’s Fossil-Free Flight 2045 scheme and was made possible by Skellefteå Airport’s work, which included the installation of Sweden’s most powerful electricity supply for electrified aviation in 2021. The infrastructure and supply station will serve both electrically powered conventional take-off and landing, and vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, providing opportunities to get vehicles into the air quickly, both for testing and development and for commercial traffic.
Green Flight Academy
Skellefteå Airport’s proactive work on both CO2 reduction and the installation of a power supply for electric aviation has also resulted in the establishment of a new international flight academy at the airport. Green Flight Academy will produce up to 100 air traffic pilots annually, using a fleet of the most environmentally sustainable aircraft, with electric planes from Pipistrel and a new Piper Archer DXT powered by biofuel. The aim is to create the world’s most sustainable flight academy.
Come and visit Skellefteå Airport and experience a greener take-off!