The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has confirmed it will put in place the certification standards used by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), known as Special Conditions (SC)-VTOL, as the basis for UK acceptance for eVTOL aircraft. This after the U.S Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recently stated its own certification rules are to be modified, where some say, making it more difficult for eVTOL companies to gain full recognition.
Special Conditions allows the CAA and eVTOL manufacturers to develop safety levels established under SC.VTOL that provide “stringent levels of protection” for the UK public, both in the air and on the ground.
While implementing these new standards, this still allows the CAA to continue proactively engaging and collaborating with other world aviation authorities, such as the FAA, to share approaches, lessons learned and safety insights.
Rob Bishton, CAAs Group Director for safety and airspace regulation, commented, “The decision to adopt SC-VTOL as our certification basis will support UK manufacturers and enable them to easily access the global market for eVTOL aircraft.” He continued, “We will continue to work with the industry to help promote and facilitate innovation throughout aviation.”
Harmonising safety standards across nations and continents helps to maintain high levels of safety, as well as reducing industry costs and “avoiding duplication of effort.” By working together the UK industry has easier access to the wider global market.
UK-based Vertical Aerospace, a leading British eVTOL company, welcomes the CAA’s announcement as it continues to support Vertical’s concurrent CAA and EASA certification of its VX-4 aircraft.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, Vertical’s Founder and CEO, commented, “We look forward to continuing our work with the CAA to make eVTOLs safe for all consumers and bring the VX-4 to the skies.” And Michael Cervenka, the company President, added, “The CAA’s confirmation is a pivotal step.”
Vertical believes that CAA’s decision to adopt (SC)-VTOL as the UKs certification basis will support global market access and enable swift validation of Vertical’s VX-4 aircraft worldwide. The company expects to reach several critical certification milestones in the coming months, as the aircraft’s test flight program begins this Summer.