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EASA proposes rules for safe operation of VTOL aircraft in Europe’s cities, which includes air taxis

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!”

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Jason Pritchard

Jason Pritchard is the Editor of eVTOL Insights. He holds a BA from Leicester's De Montfort University and has worked in Journalism and Public Relations for more than a decade. Outside of work, Jason enjoys playing and watching football and golf. He also has a keen interest in Ancient Egypt.

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