Electric Aircraft of the Horizon -- An Airport Planning Perspective

Design innovation for electrically powered and hybrid-electric aircraft is accelerating rapidly, with the possibility of electric aircrafts being rolled out in the next 2 to 5 years. Electric motors have far fewer moving parts compared to combustion engines and electric energy costs less than liquid fuels. But not all air service can be replaced by electrically powered aircraft, as batteries are heavy and significantly less energy dense compared to AvGas, and electric aircrafts will fly more slowly than jet aircraft. Yet in certain applications (e.g., short-haul and cargo service), electric power is optimal compared to combustion engines. The advent of electric aircrafts offer both significant opportunities and disruptions for airports and their surrounding communities. Airports may have new roles to play regarding energy generation and transmission; at the same time, electric aircraft may impact revenue from fuel sales. Communities could benefit from potential environmental improvements. Airports need guidance not only to be ready for the introduction of electric aircraft but to help influence their transition into the airport environment. The objective of this research is to develop guidance to help plan for the operation of electric aircrafts at airports. The research should describe current and emerging technology and address facility requirements, implications for commercial service and general aviation airports, power demand requirements, potential impacts and opportunities for revenue generation, regulatory issues, and environmental impacts.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $450000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 03-51

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Navarrete, Joseph

  • Start Date: 20180731
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01677267
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 03-51
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jul 30 2018 3:03PM