OLYMPIA, Wash. – Electric aircraft bring exciting possibilities, but also challenges.
To explore both, the state of Washington has created its first Electric Aircraft Working Group (EAWG), which met for the first time at Zunum Aero June 13, 2018.
Led by the Washington State Department of Transportation Aviation Division, the meeting brought together experts from the electric aircraft industry, manufacturers, airlines, state representatives, airports, and more.
WSDOT Aviation Division was tasked with forming a working group to explore the feasibility of introducing electric and hybrid-electric aircraft in Washington state, following the introduction of House Bill 2295 and Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6106.
The group will report its findings and recommendations to the transportation committees of the legislature by June 30, 2019.
Goals of the group include analyzing the current state of the electric-powered aircraft industry and assessing the infrastructure needs related to the use of electric or hybrid-electric aircraft in Washington state.
An outcome of the kickoff meeting was forming sub-groups to focus on specific issues to allow subject matter experts to work together and provide detailed input for specific topics.
Sub-groups included: Aircraft manufacturing/certification; airline operations; Washington state impacts; workforce development; emissions/public acceptance and airport and infrastructure.
Attendees of the June 13 kickoff meeting included representatives from Boeing, VerteGo Aero, Volta Companies, Faraday Aero, Avista Utilities, Puget Sound Energy, Washington State Department of Commerce, Skywest, Pangborn Memorial Airport, Port of Seattle, Alaska Airlines, DiamondStream Partners, Kenmore Air, FAA, Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing, State Rep. Vandana Slatter (D-48) and State Rep. Mark Hargrove (R-47).