Beta Technologies, Signature Aviation to Install Electric Aircraft Chargers at 3 Airports

The partners have already installed a system at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, with plans to add Frederick Municipal Airport and Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport.

Beta Signature Aviation electric aircraft charging systems

Beta’s electric conventional takeoff and landing (eCTOL) Alia is one of many electric vehicles that could plug into chargers at Signature Aviation terminals. [Courtesy: Beta Technologies]

Beta Technologies, a manufacturer of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) and conventional takeoff and landing (eCTOL) aircraft, continues to expand its network of U.S. electric aircraft chargers.

The firm on Thursday announced a formal partnership with Signature Aviation, a FBO network for business and private aviation, to install systems at three East Coast airports, with discussions underway to include additional locations.

The first multimodal Beta charger is already installed and online at Signature’s Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (KMHT) terminal in New Hampshire, which the company said is the state’s first such system.

“Manchester is emerging as one of the top high-tech hubs in the Northeast, and we are honored that Manchester-Boston Regional Airport was chosen as Signature and BETA’s first operational electric aviation site,” said KMHT director Ted Kitchens. “This interoperable charging station will help enable Manchester and southern New Hampshire to have better access to electric aviation, which will bring us better regional air mobility as we move into this exciting new era of electric transportation.”

Additional chargers—which Beta said will come online this summer—are being installed on Signature terminals at Frederick Municipal Airport (KFDK) in Maryland and Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (KCHO) in Virgina.

“As one of the leading private terminal operators anywhere in the world, Signature takes a forward-leaning approach to best serve their broad base of aviators,” said Nate Ward, head of network development for Beta. “Beta has long been focused on building a reliable, accessible network of chargers for aircraft, and this collaboration represents another important pathway toward scaling our network.”

Beta’s chargers are designed to be multimodal and interoperable, accessible to the company’s aircraft, other developers’ electric models, or any electric air or ground vehicle.

The systems adhere to the international combined charging system (CCS) standard, which has also been proposed as the standard for electric ground vehicles. In September, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) endorsed the CCS alongside Beta, Archer Aviation, Lilium, Volocopter, Overair, Boeing’s Wisk Aero, and several other electric air taxi manufacturers.

Joby Aviation, one of Beta’s U.S. competitors, has proposed its own charging standard—the global electric aviation charging system (GEACS)—which it touts as an alternative to the CCS. In the electric ground vehicle space, Tesla’s North American charging system (NACS) is gradually supplanting the CCS as the industry standard. But Beta and others are pushing for the latter to become the norm in aviation.

Signature is Beta’s third FBO partner. The partnership follows a deal with Atlantic Aviation to install systems at New York’s Elmira Regional Airport (KELM), Birmingham International Airport (KBHM) in Alabama, Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport (KJAN) in Mississippi, and Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport (KBAF) in Massachusetts. The Elmira site is already online.

Beta in February also partnered with FBO network AvFlight to inaugurate an electric aircraft charger at Golden Triangle Regional Airport (KGTR) in Columbus, Mississippi. The partners said it was the first such system to be installed in the state.

Now Signature, which bills itself as world’s largest private aviation terminal operator, is getting in on the action.

“We are thrilled to further solidify our partnership with Beta, which underscores our unwavering commitment to shaping the future of aviation through our sustainability initiatives in Signature Renew,” said Derek DeCross, chief commercial officer for Signature Aviation. “Together with Beta, we're not only creating greater access to electric aviation but also unlocking new possibilities in regional air mobility for our guests, all while championing sustainability and innovation in the aviation industry.”

Signature earlier this week rebranded to emphasize its focus on aviation hospitality, customer experience, and sustainability. The firm achieved carbon neutrality across its entire global network in 2022 and last year said it pumped its 25th million gallon of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The company’s three East Coast sites now join Beta’s U.S. charging network, which spans the coast from Vermont to Florida and extends as far west as Arkansas. Chargers have now been installed at 19 locations, with another 50 sites in the permitting or construction process, Beta said Thursday.

Within the manufacturer’s network is the first electric aircraft charger installed at a Department of Defense (DOD) base. Customers include the DOD, regional and state-owned airports, FBOs, and even other electric aircraft developers.

Beta is already using the sites to charge its all-electric aircraft. It stopped at several charging stations in October during a 12-state, 1,500 nm journey to Eglin Air Force Base’s Duke Field (KEGI) in Florida, where it recently concluded an initial three-month deployment for the U.S. Air Force.

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Jack is a staff writer covering advanced air mobility, including everything from drones to unmanned aircraft systems to space travel—and a whole lot more. He spent close to two years reporting on drone delivery for FreightWaves, covering the biggest news and developments in the space and connecting with industry executives and experts. Jack is also a basketball aficionado, a frequent traveler and a lover of all things logistics.

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