Recently announced plans for Luxaviation to partner with aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce in providing infrastructure, services, and support for advanced air mobility (AAM) represent one of the strongest signals so far that the mainstream business aviation industry could play a role in the new sector. Under an MoU signed late last month, Rolls-Royce’s electrical and power systems divisions would join forces with business aircraft and private air terminal operator Luxaviation to provide charging and energy infrastructure for vertiports, maintenance for electric aircraft, and digital solutions to support commercial operations of eVTOL and eSTOL aircraft.
There are many reasons for AAM companies to turn to established industry players such as Europe-based Luxaviation, which operates a large managed charter aircraft fleet and a network of more than 120 FBOs. Christophe Lapierre, Luxaviation’s head of strategy and president of business aviation support services, believes regulators will be more comfortable approving early-use AAM cases that involve already certified facilities and aircraft operators. Meanwhile, he said passengers will also be more inclined to try the new vehicles if they are operated by known service providers.
Luxaviation’s plans with Rolls-Royce foresee initial electric aircraft operations being supported from existing FBOs at airports within four years. As the AAM sector builds momentum, the companies would then establish and support operations in urban locations.