A request to designate Shannon Airport as Ireland’s Electric Airport has been issued to the Government and the Department of Transport.
It follows a motion by Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG) before Clare County Council which was passed by elected representatives on Monday.
He stated, “In order to assist Ireland achieve climate action targets in reducing emissions from aviation that Clare County Council request the Government, its related Government Departments, and Shannon Group plan for designation and development of Shannon Airport as Ireland’s Electric Airport using green electricity to power green aviation initially short haul and long haul in the future with battery improvement”.
€3.6bn was added to Ireland’s gross domestic product (GDP) by Shannon Airport prior to COVID-19, the Ennis representative said. He highlighted that the aviation industry had to adapt because of climate change, “it must decarbonise”. Flynn referred to plans from Irish aviation companies to introduce electric planes, “we need to start building the infrastructure to service the electric aviation industry”.
Last month, aircraft leasing company Avolon and Vertical Aerospaceannounced a “ground-breaking” $2 billion order for up to 500 electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. The agreement will introduce the ultra-short-haul aircraft category to commercial aviation, which Avolon said was a game changing development that will revolutionise air travel with zero emissions aircraft.
As part of the order, both companies are to work in collaboration throughout the development, road map to certification and subsequent commercial roll-out of the VA-X4 aircraft which is a piloted, zero emissions electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) vehicle. It will be capable of travelling over 200 miles an hour, with a range of over 100 miles and capacity for four passengers and a pilot. The aircraft takes off vertically which enables it to operate in and out of cities and other confined locations. The VA-X4 is 100 times quieter and safer than a helicopter.
Ennis native, Dómhnal Slattery is CEO of Avolon. He has predicted that before the end of this decade there will be zero emission urban air mobility, enabled by eVTOLs, to play an increasingly important role in the global commercial aviation market.
Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) seconded Cllr Flynn’s proposal in what he labelled “very timely”. Slattery’s involvement was lauded by Cllr Pat McMahon (FF). “It is great to see a Clareman over a major worldwide company to be at the forefront in ordering this aircraft”.