Airport approves agreement for EV, electric aircraft charging

Brian Payne

Columbus Municipal Airport will soon be home to some new technology made to power electric vehicles — both on the ground and in the sky.

The Columbus Board of Aviation Commissioners voted Tuesday to approve a charging station host site agreement with electric aircraft company BETA Technologies, said airport director Brian Payne. The board also voted to grant an easement for the project.

“BETA Technologies will place an electric aircraft charging station, as well as two electric vehicle charging stations here on the property,” Payne said. “We as the airport are not going to have to pay anything into it. So they’re going to do it at their (own) cost. … It’s really new technology, so they’re looking at expanding this network of charging capabilities across the United States. So they’re doing it, again, at all of their cost, and then they pay us a percentage of the electric that actually gets used off of it.”

The charging stations will be located around the current control tower area, Payne said. He’s not sure when construction will start, but he expects BETA would begin work sometime over the next few months.

The company is working to create a nationwide network of electric aircraft charging stations and aims to have nearly 150 online by 2025, per its website.

According to FutureFlight, a news site focused on the evolution of aviation, BETA has aircraft chargers online at 13 locations across the eastern United States and is working on installation at another 55 locations along the East and Gulf Coasts.

Payne said that the agreement with BETA is an opportunity to stay “on the leading edge of technology” and attract different types of aircraft.