INTERREG BOTNIA-ATLANTICA AND INTERREG NORD 2014-2020 30 Promoting electric aviation in the Kvarken region Once the technology is available, the Kvarken region will be ready for electric flights. Interreg Botnia-Atlantica cross- border project FAIR is working to prepare the region and its’ airports for a new chapter. – I think we will be among the first regions in the world with electric aircraft. We may be talking as soon as 2026, says Mathias Lindström, director of the Kvarken Council EGTC, lead partner in the project. Mathias Lindström is director of the Kvarken Council EGTC, whose primary goal is to make the Kvarken region a better place to live and work in. A prerequisite for developing the region is that there are functioning communications and functioning accessibility. A shortcoming in the region is the east-west communications. – On the aviation side, all flights go in a north-south direction. At the same time, we know that the region’s business community needs to get their products out and people need to be able to move in all directions, he says. The technical progress of electric aviation is rapidly advancing. Since electric aircraft does not produce any operational greenhouse gas emissions, it is set to be one of the most climate-efficient modes of transport in the future. At the same time, electric operation means drastically reduced fuel and maintenance costs, which creates very competitive operating costs and thus potential for a completely new regional air system. A few years ago, the idea arose to look at the possibility of early implementation of electric aircraft. FAIR Lead partner: Kvarken Council EGTC. Project partners: Umeå University, Sweden, University of Vasa, Finland, BioFuel Region Umeå, Sweden, RISE, Sweden, Region Västerbotten, Sweden, Midtskandia, Norway, Nord University, Norway. Priority area: Innovation.