California-based Joby Aviation has formally applied for its all-electric aircraft design to be certified for use in the UK.
While Joby is currently pursuing the type certification for its aircraft with the FAA and expects the US to be its first operating market, this application will allow Joby's US-based certification to be concurrently validated by the UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), accelerating the company's path to market in the UK. Joby is believed to be the first eVTOL company to apply for foreign validation of its FAA type certificate.
With a maximum range of 150 miles and a quiet acoustic profile, Joby's five seat, piloted eVTOL aircraft is designed to connect people and cities through fast, quiet, and emissions-free flight.
Joby's application builds on a joint statement by the FAA and CAA in March, announcing their intent to leverage the existing Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement between the two regulators to streamline the introduction of eVTOL aircraft using existing regulatory frameworks.
Joby founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt says: “By working hand-in-hand on certification, the UK and the US are setting the stage for these two countries to be amongst the earliest adopters of this important new technology. We strongly believe that a collaborative approach to regulation helps to foster greater safety and accelerate the introduction of new technologies that benefit the public and the environment. We're incredibly excited about the potential for electric aerial ridesharing to offer a new form of clean and affordable urban and regional connectivity across the UK, where more than 80 per cent of the population lives in, or near, cities.”
Type certification is a multi-year process that sees a company undertake rigorous testing and documentation across each aircraft system in order to prove the aircraft is safe and ready for commercial operations. Similar type certification processes are undertaken for all aircraft, big and small, an approach that has helped shape air travel into one of the safest forms of transportation available today.
Joby joined ADS Group, a UK trade association for aerospace, defence and security companies in March this year, and is working with UK-based provider of air traffic control services, NATS, to explore integration of Joby services into the UK airspace.