AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Augusta Regional Airport got some new electric chargers from BETA Technologies on Wednesday, including its only electric aircraft charger in Georgia – and the southeast as a whole. 

It was unveiled at a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and representatives from the airport, BETA Technologies, GADOT and Georgia Power were there.

“What this does for us from an airport perspective, is it continues to provide more options for our customers and continues to show our commitment to also help with new technologies and greener efforts,” said Herbert Judon Jr., the Augusta Regional Airport Executive Director.

There’s a charger for electric aircrafts inside the airfield fence, as well as three dual port chargers for electric ground vehicles.

The airport doesn’t have electric planes yet, but it’s prepared.

“Electric aviation is coming faster than most people realize and it’s something we have to plan for,” said Nathan Ward, who does network development for BETA Technologies.

The company, based out of Burlington, Vermont, has a couple of prototypes it’s working on.

“We’ve done missions are far as twenty five hundred nautical miles in a multi-step journey from our headquarters in Vermont, all the way out to Bentonville and back,” Ward said. “And we also flew 365 miles in December of 2022. We’ve go over 20,000 flight hours on our serial number one.”

They’re starting off safe, first.

“Our go to market strategy is very much focused on cargo, military medical transport first,” Ward said. “And then we expect to have literally thousands of safe flight hours in those spaces, before we move quickly into passenger after that.”

With this new all-electric infrastructure, many believe we’re taking a step towards a more sustainable and efficient future.

“Roughly twenty-eight percent of the country lives in areas where the either have to pay more more or wait a lot longer to get a package,” Ward said. “So, as these types of transportation come online, those costs on the operating side come down, and we’re just able to serve more and more of the population with electric vehicles.”

All of the electric car chargers should be up and running shortly. The electric aircraft that BETA Technologies is currently developing is still going through certifications, but there are plans for it to be in service by 2025.