On 15 October, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) opened a public consultation on its proposal of airworthiness standards which will enable the certification of small vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. This is to develop the first component of the regulatory framework to enable the safe operation of air taxi and electric VTOL (eVTOL) aircraft in Europe.
EASA is committed to ensure the highest level of safety standards for operations over cities and the commercial transport of passengers while also providing lighter standards to promote innovation for the initial phases of development and other types of operation such as leisure flights. The certification objectives will therefore depend on the type of operation, providing flexibility and proportionally.
The new standards will apply to person-carrying VTOL aircraft. In its initial version, the requirement will be limited to aircraft with a passenger seating configuration of 5 or less and a maximum certified take-off mass of 2 000 kg or less.
The Agency is engaging with its international partners in order to work together towards achieving common standards.
The proposal is open for comments until 15 November.