The EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certified a fully electric two-seater airplane, the Pipistrel Velis Electro, for the first time, the aviation body announced Thursday.
The first type certification worldwide of a fully electric aircraft will pave the way for environmentally sustainable and emission-free aviation, the statement noted.
Calling the move an exciting breakthrough, EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky said: "This is the first electric aircraft EASA has certified but it will certainly not be the last, as the aviation industry pursues new technologies to reduce noise and emissions and to improve the sustainability of aviation."
Slovenia-based Pipistrel is a leading small aircraft designer and manufacturer, specialized in energy-efficient and affordable high-performance aircraft.
The Velis Electro is a two-seater aircraft intended primarily for pilot training. The company joins a product line-up of similar, but conventionally powered, aircraft.
The certification process was completed in less than three years.
Pipistrel Aircraft CEO Ivo Boscarol said the move provided optimism for other electric aircraft designers.
"It is considerably quieter than other aeroplanes and produces no combustion gases at all," Boscarol, stressed.