Norfolk and Suffolk aviation companies have joined forces as they strive to make low carbon flights a practical reality.

Charter operator SaxonAir, based at Norwich International Airport, and electric plane makers NEBOAir, based at Shipmeadow, between Beccles and Bungay, want to create an aircraft charging network to take electric flying to the next level. NEBOAir makes a small electric aircraft called the Pipistrel Velis Electro.

The new drive follows the companies' joint presence at the Farnborough International Airshow, where they unveiled their vision for emissions-free aviation.

Infrastructure is desperately needed to avoid any unnecessary setbacks and costly delays for electric planes, they say.

The two firms hope to collaborate with a major 100% renewable energy provider to kickstart a sustainably-powered aircraft charging network.

SaxonAir chief executive Alex Durand said: “Zero emissions aviation can no longer be a quiet revolution. Practical carbon neutral targets are urgently needed, and we need to act now to ensure we are all doing everything we can.

“We’ve been driving sustainability in aviation over the last few years from our base in the East of England, a region that is already influencing the renewable agenda on a national scale.

“It’s vital that aviation - an industry which often (unfairly) gets the lion’s share of criticism when it comes to carbon emissions - does not become marginalised at a time that it’s integral to economic growth.

“We now need to start thinking about green infrastructure to keep up momentum from the incredible innovations we’re seeing from aviation technology, such as the Pipistrel Velis Electro."

As well as supporting NEBOAir's Velis Electro, SaxonAir has partnered with Old Buckenham-based electric aviation social enterprise NUNCATS and the International Aviation Academy Norwich, Action Community Enterprises (ACE), East Coast College and Vattenfall to give young people aged 14 to 25 the opportunity to build the world’s first collaborative electric aircraft at a free aviation summer school.