The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has proposed rules for safe operations of VTOL aircraft, which includes air taxis — paving the way for them to take to the skies in cities across the continent.
The Opinion — which was published for public comment between June and September 2022 — introduced a comprehensive set of operational requirements for piloted electric air taxis, spanning the domains of operations, flight crew licensing, rules of the air and air traffic management.
The proposed rules also establish criteria and processes for the certification and maintenance of drones.
EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky, said: “I am happy to release this Opinion to the European Commission, which is once again the first proposal on this topic to be issued world-wide. With this, we will achieve a harmonised regulatory framework to ensure the safe, sustainable, and secure introduction of VTOL operations.”
Once adopted, this Opinion will complement already existing EU regulations and guidance material for operations of unmanned aircraft, specifications for vertiport design, unmanned traffic management known in Europe as U‑space, and the certification of VTOL-capable aircraft.
Ky added: “This is the last piece of regulation required to enable the launch of VTOL and air taxi services for Innovative Air Mobility. Once this has passed into law, individual manufacturers and operators will of course need to obtain all the required approvals from various authorities, but the framework rules for these operations will be complete.”
German startup Lilium, which is working to certify its Lilium Jet with EASA, praised the authority on this milestone. Commenting on LinkedIn, the company said: “We applaud EASA, under Patrick Ky’s leadership, for this very important milestone on the path to enabling the launch of VTOL and electric aviation in Europe.
“With the proposed rules EASA leads the way in creating a framework that ensures the highest levels of safety while being flexible enough to allow new and diverse forms of air transportation to come to market in a timely and scalable fashion. Lilium is looking forward to continued successful collaboration on our way to making Innovative Air Mobility a reality in Europe!”