GTRA Gets the State’s First Electric Aircraft Charging Station

COLUMBUS, Mississippi – Courtesy of the Dispatch and Kevin Edwards

The Golden Triangle Regional Airport, in cooperation with Avflight and Beta Technologies, has installed Mississippi’s first charging station usable by electrically-powered aircraft. This is one step along the path to establishing a proper infrastructure for the technology across the nation. Eighteen other such stations are already in service, with another fifty in the works as of this time. “We’re really excited about it because it’s another option when it comes to supporting advanced aviation and aircraft,” Matt Dowell, the airport’s executive director, told The Dispatch. “Electric aircraft are in development right now (and) being certified. We like to have as much infrastructure to support aviation as possible.”

Emma Davis, flight test engineer with Beta Technologies – Kevin Edwards, Dispatch Staff

It was noted that the station is designed to work with aircraft from a variety of different manufacturers and operators, and also serves as a charger for electric automobiles; the car charger is open to the public, and both chargers operate off of an app to allow for easy payment. The current range of a sample small aircraft is about 350-400 miles/2.5 hours of flight time at 120 knots (enough to reach Augusta, GA, for example); it costs only about $50 in power to reach that far, as opposed to a few hundred dollars in aviation fuel for a standard plane.

“The whole picture is, there isn’t the charge station infrastructure out there for electric aviation, so someone’s got to do that,” flight test engineer Emma Davis said. “If we want to fly our aircraft throughout the country, what’s the best way to do that? It’s to have a charge station that we’ve built (and) implemented in place.”

They expect the chargers to primarily be used by ground vehicles, at least at first, as FAA approval is gained for more and more electric aircraft over the years – but that means having the chargers available first. In the meantime, the airport is making sure that they will have the needed structures and personnel in place to support them.

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#gtra #goldentriangle #electriccharging #aviation #columbusms

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