The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has released an official opinion proposing new rules for the operation of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft. The proposal includes regulations governing operations, flight crew licensing, rules of the air and air traffic management for crewed, VTOL-capable air taxis. It also looks to establish criteria and processes for the certification and maintenance of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS/drones).
“I am happy to release this Opinion to the European Commission, which is once again the first proposal on this topic to be issued world-wide,” said EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky. “With this, we will achieve a harmonised regulatory framework to ensure the safe, sustainable, and secure introduction of VTOL operations.”
Ky noted that the opinion was the final piece required to create a regulatory framework that will enable the launch of VTOL and air taxi services in Europe, emphasizing that manufacturers and operators will still need to get the necessary approvals. As previously reported by AVweb, EASA’s proposed rules for air taxi operation in cities was open for public comment from June to September 2022. The agency also published a proposal for how to assess and limit air taxi noise generation last May.