Solarpunk Novela 007

It took about 90 seconds, then he was done and could focus completely on his two wonderful girls. Looking at his child, he felt that he was now bound by a magical band. That he would be her slave for as long as he lived. (He learned on that first night: his baby girl knew that, too.)

Keiti decided to take parental leave first. The government paid her ⅔ of her last net salary while she focused on her family. That came out at about 3000 Euro per month for the first year. After that she returned to her job but worked only part-time, as was her legal right under EU legislation. She was happy that she didn’t need to choose between family and career. Then Arvo took parental leave for the remaining twelve months under the same rules.

Arvo’s career changed. So far, he’d been a “real” pilot. Flying people across the short distances from Pärnu to Tallinn, from Viljandi to Stockholm or up north all the way to St. Petersburg. But automation made steady progress in aviation too. Regulation changed and now it was allowed to fly electric planes remotely. Pilots worked from home and only steered the planes during start, hover, and landing – the most dangerous parts of the travel.

Arvo’s employer planned for this in their business case. With the pilot gone, the maximum number of passengers per flight increased from six to seven. Flights got cheaper. It took years longer than expected, but finally technology was good enough that pilots could be used as “jumpers”: The electric planes would start, fly and land completely autonomously. Human pilots would be available to (virtually) “jump” into any airplane when unexpected problems appeared: Either a technical fault (which never happened) or because weather conditions suddenly worsened. Like with Arvo’s final flight in Ghana.

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