Business aviation services group Clay Lacy is to install recharging stations for electric aircraft at its network of U.S. fixed-base operations (FBOs) under an agreement with Eviation, which is working to bring its nine-passenger Alice model into commercial service in 2024. Announcing the move on September 14, Clay Lacy, which also operates charter aircraft, did not say whether it intends to add the all-electric, fixed-wing Alice to its fleet.
The partnership makes Clay Lacy one of the first business aviation service providers to declare it will install the equipment required to support the operation of electric aircraft. The U.S. company has FBOs at Van Nuys and John Wayne Orange County Airports in California, with another slated to open next year in Connecticut.
An Eviation spokesperson told FutureFlight that the company is working to introduce a common standard for charging equipment to all electric aircraft types to use the same ground infrastructure.
According to president and CEO Brian Kirkdoffer, Clay Lacy has prided itself on being in the vanguard of several environmental policies. “One of those firsts was introducing the first carbon offset program and a robust sustainability strategy in the aircraft management industry,” he noted. “We are proud to take that giant step further with charging the zero-emission Alice at our FBOs.”
Washington state-based Eviation is preparing a redesigned prototype of the Alice to make its first flight before the end of 2021. “This partnership is just the beginning for Eviation as we look to build out the supporting infrastructure needed to bring electric aviation to life,” said Omer Bar-Yohay, the airframer’s CEO. “With a network of visionary FBOs, we can ensure accessible, quick, and seamless charging as we march towards a cleaner aviation future."
Express delivery group DHL recently became the launch customer for the Alice. It intends to add 12 of the aircraft to its fleet for cargo operations.