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Harbour Air could have electric planes flying over B.C. as soon as 2026

The company just announced plans to buy 50 electric airplane engines from Washington company magniX
Harbour Air has signed a letter of intent to purchase 50 electric engines for its seaplane fleet. Harbour Air’s prototype electric plane is seen here. (Photo Courtesy Harbour Air)

Harbour Air is making a significant push to go green, announcing on April 22 it has signed a letter of intent to purchase 50 electric airplane engines.

“We are excited to accelerate the adoption of electric aviation technology and further our journey towards a sustainable future,” company CEO Bert Van der Stege said in a press release.

Harbour Air is North America’s largest seaplane airline, and operations include year-round flights between Victoria’s Inner Harbour and Vancouver, Richmond and Pitt Meadows, as well as summer flights to Whistler.

The engines are made by Everett, Wash. company magniX and are to initially just be installed on Harbour’s DHC-2 Beaver aircraft as soon as Transport Canada provides the needed certification.

The two companies first partnered for this project back in 2019, getting the world’s first successful fully electric commercial aircraft flight off the ground in Richmond on Dec. 10 of that year.

Since then Harbour Air has flown 78 successful test flights with this prototype.

“The many flights that the eBeaver has now completed with magniX’s technology are a signal that the electric age of aviation is here and bringing it to the marketplace is growing rapidly closer,” said magniX’s Riona Armesmith in a press release.

Harbour Air’s announcement of the agreement says the overall vision is to develop a sustainable aviation hub on the west coast by providing electrification conversions and services to third parties.

Rob Fleming, B.C.’s minister of transportation and infrastructure, applauded the effort.

“This initiative, including providing electrification services to other companies, showcases British Columbia’s leadership in supporting innovative solutions that contribute to a cleaner environment and greener economy,” he said, according to the press release.

Harbour Air’s target is to have its first aircraft commercially certified by 2026.

READ MORE: VIDEO: University of Victoria works to build eco-friendly aircraft

About the Author: Mark Page

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