FAA confirms final airworthiness criteria for Archer’s Midnight eVTOL

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The Federal Aviation Administration has released the final airworthiness criteria for Archer Aviation’s Model M001 Midnight, marking the second set confirmed by the agency for an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft.

A pre-publication version of the FAA’s final airworthiness criteria for Midnight is now online and scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on May 24. The development, which provides Archer with a firm regulatory foundation for its aircraft certification program, comes more than two months after the FAA published nearly identical final airworthiness criteria for Joby Aviation’s eVTOL, and 17 months after Archer’s proposed airworthiness criteria were first published for public comment.

Related: FAA issues final airworthiness criteria for Joby’s eVTOL

In an interview with The Air Current, Archer Chief Regulatory Affairs Officer and former Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said the publication of Midnight’s final airworthiness criteria indicates that the FAA has “solidified where they are with respect to 21.17(b)” — the section of the Federal Aviation Regulations that outlines the special class process under which Joby and Archer’s aircraft are being certified in the U.S.

“It allows … our engineers, our cert folks on our side as well on the FAA side to now really truly focus on getting through all of the means of compliance, getting through the cert plans,” he said.

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