For many people, travel remains the way to explore the world and meet people live. But that travel will look different in the future than it does today is a foregone conclusion. We will travel differently, more efficiently and, above all, more sustainably. In doing so, we combine different forms of transportation and make conscious choices in the type of transportation we choose. Where we can, we opt for sustainable transport. That is the conclusion of a recent panel discussion on "mobility in the future" at Eindhoven Airport on the occasion of 90 years of Eindhoven Airport.
Flying more effectively According to Teun Kraaij, founder of Lucy, a startup in electric flying, sustainability should occupy an important place in our way of life. Traveling more consciously and choosing the most sustainable way to get from A to B should become a matter of course, according to Kraaij. In the panel discussion, he explained how Lucy will contribute to this. The startup is going to focus on small air travel in which passengers travel quickly and sustainably via small electric planes and (relatively) small airports. Kraaij argued that travelers need to travel less far to the airport and can land closer to their destination if the network of two thousand smaller airports in Europe can be used. Lucy plans to offer the first electric flights from Eindhoven Airport starting in 2025. Initially, these are aimed at business travelers. Airline Transavia supports this sustainable form of transportation. The airline recently announced that it will invest in the development of Lucy.
Brains in Brainport According to Rob Adams, owner of innovation agency Six Fingers, the consequences of mobility choices need to be considered. Sustainable transport is his preference anyway. But to keep our country accessible it is also good to consume instead of consuming with regard to mobility, he stated. Making mobility more sustainable is necessary, according to all panel members. According to Robert-Jan Smits, chairman of the Board of Governors of Eindhoven University of Technology, it is partly up to the brains in Brainport to contribute to smart sustainable mobility solutions. According to Smits, the current generation is passionate about this theme. This is evident, among other things, from the many startups working on it.
Rail and air traffic complement each other The fact that sustainable transport is in the spotlight is a good thing, according to Smits. Because the desire to travel remains; even if things will be different in the future. Magdalena Piotrowska, NS South Regional Director, was also convinced of this. Sustainability in the various forms of transport is continuing, and traffic by rail and air continues to complement each other. But there is also much to be gained, Piotrowska believes. It needs to be organized differently so that transportation models are better aligned, and usage is better spread throughout the day.
Airport booster for sustainable travel? Making conscious choices to travel more sustainably thus depends on a supply of transport modes that work smarter and are well aligned. It is not only within the Brainport region that there are gains to be made here. As for the opportunities and challenges in the Eindhoven region, the panel found that the airport can be a place for innovation and connection to drive sustainable travel even further. A conclusion that Airport Director Roel Hellemons gladly took to heart afterwards.