Ampaire, an electric aircraft developer, and Black & Veatch, a global leader in sustainable infrastructure, renewable energy and transportation electrification, will collaborate on developing airport electrification that supports tomorrow’s electric aviation needs.
Black & Veatch and Ampaire will work to identify and evaluate opportunities to plan, engineer and construct infrastructure for electric air mobility at airports, working with early adopters in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
The global collaboration will focus on creating reliable, clean-energy-powered charging and sustainable aviation fuelling supply. This will happen at a growing number of airports and will use solar, energy storage and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supply chain development.
The initiative seeks to include a broad range of air and ground side stakeholders who will benefit from shared infrastructure. Black & Veatch’s deep knowledge of power and communications infrastructure will be applied to this innovative industry sector.
Susan Ying, Ampaire senior vice president of global partnerships, said: “Ampaire is committed to putting zero-emissions aircraft into widespread service by mid-decade.
“These hybrid-electric aircraft will benefit from the buildout of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and electric charging infrastructure, making zero emission possible for meaningful service range. That’s why we consider this teaming arrangement so important.
“Aircraft companies must be involved in defining airport fuelling and charging infrastructure. We are therefore very pleased to work with Black & Veatch on this common objective.”
Paul Stith, Black & Veatch associate vice president of global transportation initiatives, said: “Governments, companies and communities around the world are making lowering their carbon footprints a priority, and the transportation sector is helping accelerate positive change.
“Decarbonisation of aviation is challenging and requires technology and collaboration.
“Tackling emissions with concurrent SAF and electrification strategies offers a shining example of what’s possible in doing things cleaner and greener, and we’re excited about working with Ampaire to reshape tomorrow’s air mobility through infrastructure and innovation.”
Ampaire have been at the forefront of modern air mobility, having flown 481 miles (774km) non-stop from Perth, Scotland to Exeter in southwest England in August 2021. This was in its “Electric EEL” aircraft, which is a six-seat Cessna, modified with hybrid-electric propulsion. It is to date the longest flight by a commercial-sized, hybrid-electric aircraft.
The promise of electrified air mobility continues to grow because of the environmental benefits, reduced fuel requirements and maintenance costs. Plus, the sector’s lesser reliance on traditional fuels that are prone to price and supply fluctuations.
While electrification carries vast potential in unleashing a new mobility market, expanding the industry rests significantly on deploying more charging and servicing infrastructure.