The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will change its approach to electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft certification.
According to Reuters, the reason is due to a review of the FAA certification process by the US Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General.
eVTOLs will now certificated as powered-lift aircraft, which covers aircraft including the Leonardo AW609.
Previously, major eVTOL manufacturers such as Joby, Beta Technologies, and Archer Aviation have leaned toward gaining type certification under the FAA’s Part 23 regulations.
It is uncertain if, or what, any far-reaching effects in the aviation industry this change could bring.
However, the FAA states that the change will not add delays to achieving type certification.
So far, eVTOL manufacturer Archer remains optimistic. According to Louise Bristow, VP, Marketing and Communications at Archer, “Since its inception, Archer has worked closely with the FAA on the certification process, and we currently do not anticipate the latest planned changes having any material impact on our certification timelines.” He further adds, “As a company pioneering a new form of transportation, we welcome the efforts of the FAA to provide a framework around the design and manufacture of an aircraft that is safe and approved for commercial use. We remain in constant communication and collaboration with the FAA and look forward to continuing our work with them towards certification of our production aircraft.”
In a brief statement given to Asian Sky Media, Japanese-based OEM SkyDrive said that it “Believes it is too premature to comment on anything until further details are coming out in the future.”
SkyDrive is on the path to gaining type certification for its two-seater SD-05 eVTOL aircraft.
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