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FAA issues final airworthiness criteria for Joby eVTOL

Critical milestone for eVTOL industry provides more clarity around FAA’s certification approach

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Release Date
March 7, 2024
FAA issues final airworthiness criteria for Joby eVTOL

The Federal Aviation Administration has finalized the airworthiness criteria that will apply to Joby Aviation’s electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, a major milestone for the industry that will allow eVTOL developers to proceed with greater certainty toward FAA type certification of their aircraft.

The publication comes nearly two years after the FAA abruptly shifted course on its approach to certifying eVTOLs, a development first reported by The Air Current. The agency had previously planned to certify winged eVTOLs as Part 23 small airplanes with special conditions. In April 2022, it decided to certify them instead as powered-lift aircraft under the special class process provided for in 14 Code of Federal Regulations 21.17(b) — a change that necessitated the development of special class airworthiness criteria in the form of a G-1 issue paper for each model undergoing certification.

Related: DOT audit report details conflict within FAA over eVTOL certification

The proposed airworthiness criteria for Joby’s Model JAS4-1 were the first to be published in the Federal Register in November 2022. Now, after digesting public comments on the criteria and conducting related discussions with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, the FAA is set to publish the final version on the Federal Register on March 8 — with some notable changes, although none that will require a redesign of Joby’s aircraft, the company told TAC.

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