The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has published a proposal for the assessment and limitation of noise generated by air taxis. Called the Environmental Protection Technical Specifications (EPTS), the proposal covers electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft “powered by multiple, vertical, non-tilting, evenly distributed rotors.” EASA noted that the EPTS proposal stems from the agency’s need to develop a new regulatory framework for the certification of products for which environmental compatibility standards have not been established by existing regulations.
“When EASA conducted a Europe-wide survey on Urban Air Mobility in late 2021, noise was highlighted as one of the major concerns by participants with respect to air taxis, along with environmental concerns and overall safety,” said EASA executive director Patrick Ky. “This proposal addresses those concerns, describing ways to measure the noise produced and setting limits to ensure that the noise pollution is not excessive.”
According to EASA, the maximum allowable noise levels defined are being kept identical to ICAO limits for heavy helicopters while the agency gathers more data. Noise assessment procedures have been adapted eVTOL design characteristics “where necessary.” EASA stated that because the aircraft covered by the EPTS “do not emit nitric oxides, carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, visible smoke or non-volatile particulate matter during operation,” no specifications for engine emissions were included in the proposal. The EPTS proposal is open for public comment until June 15, 2023, via the agency’s comment response tool.