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Mon, Sep 04, 2023

EASA Proposes VTOL Regulations

Defining Tomorrow’s E.U. Regulatory Environment

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has proposed a body of regulations germane to the safe operations of Vertical Take-Off and Landing aircraft (VTOL), which include air-taxis, thereby heralding the arrival of subject aircraft in European skies.

EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky stated: “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 harmonized regulatory framework to ensure the safe, sustainable, and secure introduction of VTOL operations.”

Mr. 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.”

The opinion set forth by EASA introduces 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.

Once adopted, this Opinion will complement extant 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.

The proposals had initially been published for public comment from June-September 2022.

Tasked by the European Union’s central government with defining, regulating, and maintaining aviation safety throughout Europe, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) carries out functions apposite to aircraft and airman certification, regulation, and standardization. Additionally, EASA performs investigation and monitoring, collects and analyzes aviation safety data, drafts and advises on safety legislation, and coordinates with global aviation regulatory bodies.

Legally established in 2002, EASA commenced functioning in 2003.

FMI: www.easa.europa.eu/en

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