Electric Aircraft Research Could be Happening in Washington

“Electric aircraft” isn’t a term we’re used to hearing very often, but if state Representative Vandana Slatter has her way, we’ll get used to it soon.

“A long time ago, regional air travel connected small communities. So I believe having small electric aircraft provides a new technology to do something that we’ve already found to be really valuable.”

The Bellevue Democrat got a bipartisan thumbs-up in the House Wednesday for a bill that could make Washington a worldwide leader in electric and hybrid-electric aeronautics. She wants the state Department of Transportation to work with a task force to set goals for production and use of electric airplanes. She envisions small, short-hop planes, designed and built here in Washington, making air travel between hundreds of currently underused airports inexpensive and convenient, with some bonus features.

“Decreased emissions as well as decreased noise, and it offers us the opportunity to build an innovative sector here in Washington state, a state that has always been a leader in innovation and can continue to lead the world.”

Slatter’s bill now heads to the Senate.

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