Joby Aviation has signed a definitive agreement with Clay Lacy Aviation to instal southern California's first electric air taxi charger at John Wayne airport (SNA) in Orange County, California.
The installation of electrical infrastructure to support Joby's Global Electric Aviation Charging System (GEACS) comes as part of Clay Lacy's planned $100 million redevelopment of its FBO terminal at SNA, targeted for completion in mid-2025.
The GEACS charging interface, which is already in use at Joby's flight test centre in Marina, California and at Edwards Air Force Base, supports the safe and efficient operation of all electric aircraft under development today, including Joby's quiet, emissions-free air taxi.
The Joby aircraft will be deployed on routes of up to 100 miles and can carry a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 mph, offering travellers high-speed mobility with no in-flight emissions and a noise footprint that is radically lower than today's helicopters. The installation of a charger at John Wayne airport will establish the site as a node in Joby's southern California air taxi network, which is expected to be one of the first networks to launch in the US.
In 2022, Joby announced it was working with Delta Air Lines to deliver seamless airport trips for its customers across several locations, including Los Angeles.
"This announcement marks a key moment on the path to delivering our air taxi service in the greater Los Angeles area," says founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt. "We're taking concrete steps to ensure the right infrastructure is in place to support our future service, and we're grateful to be working with an industry pioneer like Clay Lacy Aviation to lead the way on bringing sustainable aviation to southern California.
"The charging technology we have developed is optimised to support our whole industry, from air taxis delivering short range city flights to more conventional electric aircraft flying longer distances. Joby made the specifications for the universal charging interface freely available to the wider industry in November 2023 to help accelerate the transition to clean flight. We're therefore very pleased to see it being adopted in this key market."
Scott Cutshall, SVP strategy and sustainability at Clay Lacy Aviation, adds: "Since our founding more than 50 years ago, Clay Lacy has been committed to improving lives for our community, employees and clients; leading the industry on safety and service while taking action to reduce emissions in both our ground and air operations. We're excited to be working with Joby to install southern California's first air taxi charger, and we look forward to the greater convenience it will bring to the Orange County community without additional noise or emissions."
Clay Lacy's all-new FBO development at John Wayne airport is expected to be the first in the world to be Gold-certified by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, reinforcing the company's longstanding commitment to leadership on sustainability in aviation.
Last year, Joby completed the first-ever flight of an electric air taxi in New York City, another of its target launch markets, coinciding with an announcement by the city's leadership to electrify the Downtown Manhattan Heliport.