This Vancouver Island company is the latest to go green with its plan to convert to all-electric aircraft.
In an announcement made by Harbour Air today, the airline said it is partnering with engineering company, magniX, to convert all of their seaplanes into an all-electric commercial fleet.
All the aircraft that service Harbour Air’s 12 routes will be refitted with 750 horsepower magni500 electric motors. The first seaplane to be converted will be a six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver, with the first flight tests expected to occur in late 2019.
The new short-haul passenger planes will produce zero emissions and will have zero reliance on fossil fuels.
We're thrilled to announce our innovative plans to become the world's first all-electric commercial airline! Initiatives like this keep Canada a leader in aerospace and create planet-friendly transportation solutions for the future. Read more at https://t.co/eyNI0rXxd6 @MagniX pic.twitter.com/FGvZo2idHc
— Harbour Air Seaplanes (@HarbourAirLtd) March 26, 2019
“Harbour Air first demonstrated its commitment to sustainability by becoming the first fully carbon-neutral airline in North America in 2007, through the purchase of carbon offsets,” said Greg McDougall, founder and CEO of Harbour Air Seaplanes in a statement.
“Through our commitment to making a positive impact on people’s lives, the communities where we operate and the environment, we are once again pushing the boundaries of aviation by becoming the first aircraft to be powered by electric propulsion.”
“We are excited to bring commercial electric aviation to the Pacific Northwest, turning our seaplanes into ePlanes,” said McDougall.
See also: Harbour Air adds solar panels and beehives to airport green roof
In total, the aviation industry is responsible for 12% of all carbon emissions in the US, and 4.9% globally. MagniX believes that their new electric propulsion system technology will serve as an example for innovation in the airline industry.
“In 2018, 75 percent of worldwide airline flights were 1,000 miles or less in range,” said magniX CEO, Roei Ganzarski in a statement. “With magniX’s new propulsion systems coupled with emerging battery capabilities, we see tremendous potential for electric aviation to transform this heavily trafficked ‘middle mile’ range.”
Harbour Air has been in operation for 37 years, and is North America’s largest seaplane airline. It services over 500,000 passengers on 30,000 flights each year, including flights between Victoria, Vancouver, Nanaimo, Tofino, Salt Spring Island, Whistler, Richmond, and more.