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Business Air News Bulletin
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UK sets standards for eVTOL certification
SC-VTOL has been adopted as the UK certification basis for eVTOL aircraft. The CAA is the certifying authority for Vertical Aerospace, which is engaging in standards and validation co-operation with EASA and the FAA.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority has confirmed it will put in place the certification standards also used by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, known as Special Conditions SC-VTOL, as the basis for UK certification for new eVTOL aircraft.

Special Conditions allow manufacturers and the CAA to develop safety requirements as these new technologies come to market and provide the basis for approval. The safety levels established under SC-VTOL provide stringent levels of protection for the UK consumer, both in the air and on the ground.

In implementing these new standards, the CAA will continue to proactively engage and collaborate with other global national aviation authorities such as the US FAA, to share approaches, lessons learned and safety insights.

Harmonising safety standards across nations and continents helps to maintain high levels of safety, as well as reducing industry costs and avoiding duplication of effort. By working together the UK industry has easier access to the wider global market.

CAA group director for safety and airspace regulation Rob Bishton says: “The decision to adopt SC-VTOL as our certification basis will support UK manufacturers and enable them to easily access the global market for eVTOL aircraft. We will continue to work with the industry to help promote and facilitate innovation throughout aviation.”

Aerospace and technology company Vertical Aerospace has welcomed the news, and says this supports the concurrent CAA and EASA certification of its VX4 eVTOL aircraft, announced in April 2022. Vertical welcomes the CAA's commitment through the safety levels established under SC-VTOL to providing stringent levels of protection for UK consumers.

Vertical also believes the CAA's decision to adopt SC-VTOL as the UK's certification basis will support global market access and enable swift validation of Vertical's VX4 aircraft worldwide.

Vertical continues to engage with regulatory authorities globally in key markets for the VX4 and supports the CAA's objectives of harmonising safety standards across nations and continents to maintain the highest levels of safety, as well as reducing industry costs and avoiding duplication of effort.

Vertical expects to reach several critical certification milestones in the coming months, as the VX4's test flight programme begins in Summer 2022.

Founder and CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick says: “We cannot decarbonise flight and transform urban mobility without winning public trust in the new technology of eVTOLs. Vertical Aerospace has already been striving to meet the highest possible safety standards for our aircraft, and we warmly welcome this decision. We look forward to continuing our work with the CAA to make eVTOLs safe for all consumers and bring the VX4 to the skies.”

President Michael Cervenka adds: “The UK confirming these high standards of safety for new electric aircraft is a pivotal and positive step towards building a world leading zero emissions aircraft manufacturer in Britain. It is vital that passengers and the public have the same trust in eVTOLs as in today's passenger planes, as we try to make flying faster, smarter and greener.”

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