Local airport becomes first electric charging station in Mississippi
LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – It takes five batteries to power this two-seater plane. Up until recently, there was nowhere to charge the batteries.
“We are really excited to announce that we have an electric aircraft charging station here at the airport. We also have beta technology with their electric aircraft, and they are going to be using the infrastructure that was recently installed. This is the first electric aircraft infrastructure that is in the state of Mississippi,” said Matt Dowell, Golden Triangle Regional Airport Executive Director.
So, you may wonder how this works. It is very similar to how electric vehicles are charged and the stations look similar.
“It takes a larger infrastructure and a bigger charger to do it, it is very similar because it is plug and play. You just plug it right up to the aircraft and then it charges for about an hour or two before it is fully charged. As far as battery pack size, they say it can hold about the battery pack sizes of five Tesla cars, so it is a larger size and bigger infrastructure, but it is very simple to operate,” said Dowell.
This new technology allows for about 2.5 hours of flying time before it’s time to recharge.
BETA Technology operates the charging station at Golden Triangle Regional Airport. Flight Test Engineer Emma Davis said this new way of flying can help the environment.
“There is a current need, one of the things that we noticed is that there is a current need for transportation that is efficient and that is environmentally friendly. There is a benefit of being cost-efficient, we are able to move quickly to a location that is within 150-175 miles efficiently and quickly,” said Davis.
Electric planes can help companies and future pilots save money.
“In order to charge an electric aircraft like the one you see behind me, it is only about $50 worth of electricity cost. So, it is a significant saving compared to traditional aviation fuel,” said Dowell.
Beta Technology is working with other aircraft companies to install charging stations, so its planes can be charged in any state.