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eVTOL test flight at the airport, Source: Skellefteå Airport

Swedish airport possibly first in the world to become fossil-free

Swedish airport possibly first in the world to become fossil-free

Skellefteå Airport is an important transport node in the far north

To most people living outside of Sweden, the name Skellefteå might simply seem foreign and hard to pronounce. But most people are also unaware that this municipality in the north of the Scandinavian country is probably the world’s first fossil-free airport. Thanks to an extensive vision that integrates energy consumption from alternative sources this facility is making a head start in times when airports worldwide are facing the pressure to turn to sustainability.

It is one of Sweden’s ten largest airports

The airport’s website has reported record growth in passenger numbers in the years preceding the COVID pandemic. Apart from domestic flight services, it serves as the base for charter flights to Mediterranean destinations in the summer – giving northerners the chance to experience more sun-heavy destinations.

Still, although it is located closer to the Arctic Circle than most other places in Europe, the airport authorities are forward-thinking when it comes to climate change efforts.

Over the last couple of years, Skellefteå Airport has been dedicated to developing new and innovative ways to expedite the green transition. That means that the airport had to start working within three main focus areas:

  • Fossil-free heating with biofuel,
  • Fossil-free electricity consumption through certified green electricity,
  • Fossil-free fuels for vehicles through electricity and the biofuel HVO-100.

By applying a holistic strategy, the airport was able to reach the goal of zero emissions of fossil carbon dioxide. In 2020, the airport reported zero emissions of fossilized CO2 for the first time ever, which was confirmed by measuring according to the Airport Carbon and Emissions Reporting Tool (ACERT).

Testing ground for eVTOL

Skellefteå Airport also wants to be at the forefront in developing the technology of tomorrow. In that regard, it was approved as the testing ground for a new eVTOL (electrified vertical take-off aircraft) project.

The project will investigate and plan for infrastructure, airspace issues, permits, market issues and scientific research perspective of the electrified aircraft environment. This creates the conditions for one of the very first test routes in the Nordic region, which will help to shorten the time and pave the way for commercial traffic with eVTOL in Sweden and the Nordic countries.

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