The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has become the first regulatory authority worldwide to publish rules for operating urban air taxis.
The new regulatory framework covers technical requirements, flight crew licensing and rules of the air. The air taxi regulations complement existing EU material for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and the certification of aircraft for Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL), as well as EASA guidance on the design of vertiports.
The proposed regulatory framework is open to public consultation until 30 September 2022.
“With this, EASA becomes the first aviation regulator worldwide to release a comprehensive regulatory framework for operations of VTOL-capable aircraft, which will offer air taxi and similar services. The publication reinforces the leadership EASA is showing in this area of innovation. At the same time, we have done our best to address general societal concerns and the expectations of EU citizens with respect to safety, security, privacy, environment and noise.”
The regulations have been developed in response to claims from European manufacturers that VTOL aircraft will be ready in the next few years. These aircraft aim to offer new urban air mobility solutions for people and goods.
EASA’s latest proposals establish a set of harmonised regulations and rules for the European Union to ensure air taxis can be safely integrated into European cities.
Future developments such as VTOL aircraft without a human pilot on board are not yet covered in this proposal and will be addressed when required as the technology continues to develop.
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