DOT audit report details conflict within FAA over eVTOL certification

Before major policy shift, FAA staff “expressed frustration” with leadership’s insistence on treating eVTOLs like airplanes.

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Release Date
June 26, 2023
DOT Audit report details conflict within FAA over eVTOL certification
Four years of internal struggle preceded the Federal Aviation Administration’s abrupt course reversal last year on its approach to certifying electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, according to a newly released audit report from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General (OIG).

Related: FAA changes course on eVTOL certification

The report describes how “significant internal debates” within the FAA hindered the agency’s progress in deciding on a certification pathway for winged eVTOL aircraft like those being developed by Joby Aviation and Archer Aviation. Although that dispute was finally resolved in April 2022 — as The Air Current was the first to report last year — auditors said the FAA “will likely continue to face challenges as it progresses through the certification process for AAM [advanced air mobility] aircraft”.

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