Europe’s safety regulator has submitted proposals for rules governing safe operation of future vertical take-off aircraft, including air taxis, which will complete the regulatory framework allowing such services to begin.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has published a formal opinion introducing a set of operational requirements for piloted electric air taxis – covering such matters as crew licensing, air rules, and air traffic management.
EASA says the opinion is being submitted to the European Commission. Once adopted, it will complement current European Union regulations and guidance for unmanned aircraft operations, as well as those for vertiport design, certification of VTOL-capable aircraft.
“This is the last piece of regulation required to enable the launch of VTOL and air taxi services for innovative air mobility,” says outgoing EASA executive director Patrick Ky.
He says the framework rules will be “complete” once the regulation passes into law, although manufacturers and operators will still need to obtain their own individual required approvals.
Ky says the opinion is the first such proposal to be issued worldwide.
“With this, we will achieve a harmonised regulatory framework to ensure the safe, sustainable, and secure introduction of VTOL operations,” he adds.
EASA’s opinion proposes amending existing aviation regulations, as well as establishing new ones to address not only the operational requirements of crewed VTOL-capable aircraft but the initial and continuing airworthiness of unmanned aerial vehicles.