US air taxi developer Archer Aviation has secured a Part 135 air carrier and operator certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration on behalf of its subsidiary Archer Air. 

The California-based company disclosed on 5 June that it had cleared the certification milestone, which is distinct from receiving a type certificate for its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, Midnight. 

A Part 135 certificate ”allows Archer to begin operating aircraft commercially to refine its systems and procedures in advance of launching Midnight into service for airlines like United Airlines when it receives Midnight’s type certification”, the start-up says. 


Source: Archer Aviation

Archer has a partnership with United Airlines aimed at eventually incorporating air taxi services into the airline’s operations

Rival developer Joby Aviation, also headquartered in California, is the only other eVTOL company to have receive Part 135 clearance from the FAA. 

Securing the certificate involved five stages of documenting operational manuals and procedures, and Archer pilots demonstrating their related proficiency under the FAA’s supervision. 

”Receiving the Part 135 certificate signals that Archer Air has developed – and demonstrated to the FAA its adherence to – the necessary policies and procedures to begin operating aircraft commercially in accordance with the stringent safety and operational standards set forth by the FAA,” Archer says. ”Today’s achievement is another key step that demonstrates Archer’s work with the FAA continues to gain momentum.” 

Earlier this year, Archer received a Part 145 certificate, giving it the FAA’s blessing to perform specialised maintenance services, and last month the FAA issued final airworthiness critieria for Midnight, marking a significant milestone in its effort to launch commercial flights as soon as next year.