A United States senator recently highlighted the need to invest in electric aircraft and alternative sustainable fuel sources to make commuter air travel cleaner, more affordable and more accessible.
U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) made her case on Wednesday while addressing aviation industry leaders testifying before the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Aviation Safety, Operations and Innovation.
Cantwell spoke just one day after aerospace company Eviation launched its first-ever test flight for a nine-seat electric commuter airplane prototype, dubbed Alice. Eviation CEO Greg Davis was among the industry experts who testified before the subcommittee.
“Yesterday’s historic test flight and today’s hearing demonstrate it’s possible electric aircraft can become the new standard for regional travel, opening new opportunities for sustainability and connectivity,” Cantwell said during the hearing.
During the hearing, Cantwell emphasized how expanding electric air travel could prove transformative in communities without a major airport, especially for shorter commuter flights, as half of all flights in the U.S. are less than 500 miles.
“These new opportunities for places like Seattle to Walla Walla, or maybe Spokane to Missoula, or Moses Lake to parts of Oregon or California, are now the kinds of things that will be more economical with these kinds of flights,” Cantwell continued. “Electric planes can connect regional communities in ways previously not possible.”
The senator said electric airplanes like Alice could be a “game changer” for the future of air travel in Washington and across the country. Cantwell remains a fierce supporter of reducing pollution from the aviation industry, including the development of carbon-cutting technology like sustainable aviation fuels.