European Solar Flights

April 28, 2011

Solar Impulse, the zero fuel airplane, will attempt to fly to Brussels Airport as the destination for its first international flight.

Lausanne/Brussels Airport , 28 April 2011 – In the framework of its European solar flight campaign, Solar Impulse, under the patronage of the European Commission, has selected Brussels as its first international destination. The airplane will be displayed in the European capital from 23 to 29 May 2011 and will then attempt to fly on to Paris-Le Bourget, where it is eagerly awaited as the « Special Guest » of the 49th International Paris Air Show from 20 to 26 June 2011.

In 2008, even before the solar airplane existed, the European Commission had publicly sponsored Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg's project. Three years later, by accomplishing the first flight through a whole day and night, lasting over 26 hours, without using fuel, Solar Impulse has proven the immense potential of new technologies in terms of energy savings and production of renewable energies. It was therefore quite natural that Brussels Airport was chosen for Solar Impulse’s first destination.

« This time, we have a real airplane – flying – proof that new technologies can reduce our dependence on fossil energy- to help us continue supporting the European institutions' efforts to adopt ambitious energy policies » says Bertrand Piccard, the Founder and President of the Solar Impulse project, enthusiastically.

Brussels as the first international destination

The selection of Brussels Airport as the first international destination for the Solar Impulse airplane is a logical development of its role as the airport for the capital of the European Community. Arnaud Feist, the CEO of Brussels Airport Company, is very enthusiastic about being able to welcome the airplane onto the tarmac of Brussels Airport.

« This airplane, the first to function without fossil fuel and without emitting CO2, symbolises magnificently the great efforts the aeronautical industry is making to develop new technologies for energy saving and increased use of renewable energies. The European airport sector is also very active in developing its activities in a responsible and durable manner. Evidence of this can be seen in the important projects implemented by Brussels Airport in recent years in the environmental field: a new waste water treatment plant, the plan to reduce CO2 emissions by 50% in the framework of the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, our participation in the European Continuous Descent Operations and Collaborative Decision Making programmes, Given our ambition to continue reducing our CO2 emissions, we attach particular importance to solar energy generation projects. Therefore, we are delighted that Solar Impulse selected Brussels Airport as its first international destination ».

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