UAE residents can fly electric planes from October

Dubai: Residents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can lease and fly an electric aircraft from October, an Academy of Technical Training (ATT) official said on Tuesday.

Officials at the ATT told Emirates News Agency WAM that receiving a licence to fly the electric-driven aircraft was open to individuals as young as 14 years. The licence will be 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,” he said.

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

The 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.

Al Falasi predicted that Alpha Electro will create a game-changing impact in the aviation industry, noting that the aircraft was already licenced internationally after flight tests in the UAE, the US 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.