Groningen Airport Eelde (in Drenthe) is to run tests on flying with hydrogen power, and cargo flights with drones
Groningen Airport Eelde, working with a number of businesses and educational institutions has begun various projects to make aviation more environmentally friendly under the name ‘NXT Airport’. This could lead to the airport, located in Eelde, Drenthe, becoming the most sustainable airport in The Netherlands.
“Eelde has all necessary permits to fly drones, which means we can conduct research and test here,” says Lizette van Dijken of the airport. Work will shortly begin on remote-controlled cargo aircraft, in collaboration with Saab. “Initially these are of course still small aircraft – drones – but the intention is that they will eventually become larger cargo aircraft,” says Van Dijken. As reported by RTV Drenthe.
Research is also being conducted into hydrogen-powered aircraft at Eelde: “electric flying is still facing problems because of the batteries. We think hydrogen will be the future of flying”, says Van Dijken. “Drones can already fly on hydrogen and Airbus is also looking at its application [in aviation]. It also ties in nicely with the plans for a hydrogen economy in the North.”
Construction of a mast with 360-degree cameras will also soon start: “when it is ready, we expect that air traffic control at Eelde will disappear next year. Air traffic control at Schiphol will then also be able to handle the flights at Groningen Airport Eelde from a distance.”
Aside from Saab and Airbus, Airport Eelde is also working with Holthausen and the New Energy Coalition. Educational institutions such as NHL Stenden are also involved. “We are looking at whether we can bring students to the airport, so that learning and working can be combined.”
Image via Groningen Airport Eelde