UAE residents can fly electric airplanes from October 2019

By Sheena Amos

ABU DHABI 13 March 2019: Come October, anyone living in the UAE can lease and fly an electric aircraft — provided they receive proper training, as per the Academy of Technical Training (ATT), standards.

Officials at the ATT told Emirates News Agency, that receiving a licence to fly the electric-driven aircraft is open to individuals as young as 14 years. The licence is issued after they pass a flight training period at the Flight Club in Ghantoot.

According to Lahej Saif Al Falasi, Chairman of the ATT, an electric aircraft with a Slovenian made airframe will be used in both training and flying operations.

“The aircraft, including the batteries and engines, is entirely assembled in the UAE by Emirati hands,” says Al Falasi.

Alpha Electro

The eco-friendly aircraft goes by the name Alpha Electro and is the first of its kind in the Middle East.

The Dh400,000 Alpha Electro aircraft can fly over 13,000 feet for 90 minutes, using two lithium batteries. One of the batteries is equipped to provide additional power for 30 minutes in case of emergency. The aircraft can reach a cruising speed of 180 km/h.

The aircraft employs a regenerative braking technique, which allows for smooth take-off and landings, especially in short fields.

Game Changer

Al Falasi predicts that Alpha Electro will create a game-changing impact in the aviation industry, noting that the aircraft is already licenced internationally after flight tests in the UAE, the United States and Germany.

“The aircraft is completely safe, with zero CO2 emissions and minimum noise,” says Al Falasi.

“It is really a source of pride to see creative Emiratis contributing to the service of humanity by bringing what was once perceived as science fiction into reality,” he said.

Dubai Gazette