Norwegian airports operator Avinor has entered a co-operation agreement intended to establish a broad test arena for low-emission aircraft.

It envisions that the arena – open to domestic and international participants – would potentially cover the entire country, although specific locations will be examined for particular facilities according to needs.

Under its pact with the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority, the operator will provide infrastructure, airspace and access to energy.

The authority, for its part, will assist with regulatory matters.

“Interested producers and operators must be able to submit an operating concept and respond to pre-defined qualification criteria,” says Avinor chief Abraham Foss.

“Dialogue with the market has already started.”

Electric aircraft over Trondheim-c-Avinor

Source: Avinor

Norway is aiming for fossil-free aviation by 2050

Avinor claims no equivalent operational test area is currently available, and that its plan will help ensure early introduction of low- and zero-emission air transport to Norway.

As well as helping Norwegian businesses to gain experience in electric propulsion, charging systems, and hydrogen technology, the plan will support development of low-emission operations globally, it adds.

Norwegian CAA civil aviation director general Lars Kobberstad states that the plan intends to reduce barriers to testing and demonstration.

“The test arena will provide the market with a common point of contact…as well as a joint process from concept to test and demonstration flight,” he adds.

Norway’s government is supporting the transition to low-emission aviation through a national transport plan over 2025-36.

“Establishment of a test arena is a key measure to achieve the government’s goal of accelerating the introduction of new technology in Norwegian aviation as soon as it is mature,” says transport minister Jon-Ivar Nygard.