Power Up

June 15, 2021

Maastricht Aachen Airport as 4th Dutch airport active in electric flying test

In addition to Eindhoven Airport, Rotterdam The Hague Airport and Groningen Airport Eelde, Maastricht Aachen Airport is now also joining Power Up. Four Dutch regional airports are now working together within Power Up to gain knowledge of the feasibility, potential, and handling of electric flights. The test results will be used for research into performing scheduled flights with electric aircraft within Europe, to connect regions and create a fine-meshed network. The first electric passenger flights between airports in the Netherlands are expected to be operated within five years.

Roel Hellemons, CEO of Eindhoven Airport: “In April we announced the start of this trial in which Dutch airports jointly take an active role in the further development of innovations in aviation. We are pleased that Maastricht Aachen Airport is also joining at such an early stage. We will start in the Netherlands, where we can gain knowledge and experience in a controlled environment so that it can be used in the further roll-out of electric flying within Europe. Especially for connecting regions where electric flying offers advantages compared to the car or train.”

“This connection of the regions makes it very interesting for us as a regional airport to participate in this trial,” says Jos Roeven, CEO of Maastricht Aachen Airport. “Various Limburg parties have long expressed the wish for a connection to an international hub abroad. There, electric flying offers opportunities in the future. But also, the connection of regional companies and knowledge institutes around electric flying. Think of fuel development, but also the expansion of our maintenance boulevard for maintenance and repair.”

“We also want to contribute to making aviation more sustainable. We have been electrifying the ground operations for some time now. But it does not stop there. Large profits can also be made in the long term in flying itself. With (hydrogen) electric flying as one of the major contenders next to sustainable fuels.”

“For now, it is particularly important to investigate what electric flying means for airports. How does the handling and maintenance work and what infrastructural facilities are required? What is the commercial potential and what positive impact does this have on health and the living environment? We can answer those kinds of questions in this trial together with the other airports,” Jos Roeven continues. “Unique for the Netherlands, that the regional airports seek each other out and work together to position the Netherlands in the field of electric flying.”

Potentie van elektrisch vliegen
Elektrisch vliegen is een technisch en economisch haalbare en snelle manier van vervoer om regio’s met elkaar te verbinden, in eerste instantie binnen ca. 500 kilometer en met de potentie voor afstanden tot 1000 kilometer. Dit blijkt uit een recent uitgevoerd onderzoek van M3 Consultancy, dat wijst op de snelle ontwikkeling van de techniek. Het streven is om eerst in Nederland te experimenteren met 4- tot 9-zitters en om op termijn een fijnmazig Europees netwerk op te bouwen en te vliegen met grotere toestellen.

Cooperation in the regions
De proef wordt ondersteund door Royal Schiphol Group, NLR – Koninklijk Nederlands Lucht- en Ruimtevaartcentrum. De luchthavens zoeken voor het project Power Up verder samenwerking met innovatieve bedrijven en start-ups. Power Up biedt economische kansen voor de regio’s en het bedrijfsleven door innovatieve samenwerkingen aan te gaan. Het gaat bijvoorbeeld om kansen op het gebied van batterijtechnologie, elektrische vliegtuigmotoren en laadsystemen en mogelijkheden op het gebied van waterstoftechnologie en -infrastructuur.