California-based eVTOL developer Joby Aviation has received a Part 135 air carrier certificate from the FAA, allowing the company to begin on demand commercial air taxi operations.
Joby received the certification ahead of schedule, with completion of the process originally expected in the second half of 2022. The five stage process included the submission of more than 850 pages of manuals for approval and required Joby's initial cadre of pilots to demonstrate mastery of the company's procedures and training under FAA observation.
The Part 135 air carrier certificate is one of three FAA approvals required for Joby to operate its eVTOL aircraft as an air taxi service in cities and communities across the US, alongside a type certificate and a production certificate.
Head of air operations and people Bonny Simi, one of the company's FAA-approved pilots, says: “The procedures we've prepared lay a foundation for our future eVTOL operations. Over the coming months we will use our Part 135 certificate to exercise the operations and customer technology platforms that will underpin our multi-modal ridesharing service, while also refining our procedures to ensure seamless journeys for our customers.
“Receiving this certificate ahead of schedule is a testament to the incredible dedication and hard work of our team.”
Once Joby receives a type certificate for its eVTOL aircraft, the company will complete the FAA review process to add the new aircraft type to its existing air carrier certificate. Pilots for the company's future aerial ridesharing service, expected to launch in 2024, will have the benefit of flying an environmentally-friendly aircraft on a reliable work schedule, ending each shift in their home city.
Joby has already partnered with aviation trainer CAE to develop and qualify flight simulation training devices that it will use to train commercially-rated pilots to fly its eVTOL aircraft.
Joby's all-electric aircraft is designed to transport a pilot and four passengers up to 150 miles on a single charge at speeds of up to 200 mph. The company recently announced the results of acoustic testing with NASA, which confirmed the aircraft hit the company's target for low noise emissions during take off and landing, as well as for overhead flight.