EASA Publishes Rules For Air Taxi Ops

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The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced on Thursday that it has published proposed rules for air taxi operation in cities. Calling it “the first comprehensive proposal for such regulations to be issued world-wide,” the agency says the proposed regulatory framework was designed to address operational and mobility concepts such as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities. The new regulations cover areas including airworthiness, air operations, flight crew licensing and rules of the air.

“With this, EASA becomes the first aviation regulator worldwide to release a comprehensive regulatory framework for operations of VTOL-capable aircraft, which will offer air taxi and similar services,” said EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky. “The publication reinforces the leadership EASA is showing in this area of innovation. At the same time, we have done our best to address general societal concerns and the expectations of EU citizens with respect to safety, security, privacy, environment and noise.”

According to EASA, the proposed regulations were crafted to complement existing EU regulatory material for UAS operations, the U-space unmanned traffic management system, the certification of VTOL-capable aircraft and agency guidance on vertiport design. The agency stated that the overall goal of the proposal is to foster the development of a new urban air mobility (UAM) ecosystem along with safely and securely integrating certified UAS and VTOL operations in the EU and enabling the safe operation of VTOL-capable aircraft. The proposal, which can be viewed on EASA’s website, is open for public comment through Sept. 30, 2022.

Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. “urban air mobility (UAM) ecosystem “ Sounds like a bunch of bureaucrat mumbo-jumbo over something that doesn’t exist and probably never will. Governments around the world are experts at creating shockingly expensive “solutions” to non-existing problems and bogus crises they create, all meant to grow the size of bureaucracy and secure do-nothing government jobs.

    • Non-exisiting problems..? In most bigger cities it takes as long to get from one end to another by car as it would take to fly to another city…
      Air taxis will definitely make sense, but obviously a lot needs to be thought through how to integrate them into the NAS.

      • Looks like the regulatory agencies are going to do to the VTOL industry what they did to the fixed-wing air taxi business–REGULATE IT OUT OF EXISTENCE.

        Look at the safety record of the Air Taxi business–and compare it with the far-less-regulated Corporate Aviation segment. The Corporate world has a far better safety record–flying the very same type of aircraft.

        The difference? The regulatory cost to would-be charter operators causes them to cut corners–in aircraft and pilots. The result is few charter operators–and those that do survive–do so on a shoestring. It’s a horrible indictment of our regulatory system that corporate operators choose NOT to subject themselves to charter rules–DESPITE having a paid-for aircraft and crew.

        Wouldn’t it be better for the industry to be able to expose more people to the advantages of private transportation? How BAD does a “product” (government regulation in the name of safety) have to BE to be so thoroughly rejected? Have you ever heard a corporate pilot express a desire for MORE Air-Taxi-like reservations? NEITHER HAVE I! (smile)

        It’s foolish to equate MORE REGULATION with MORE SAFETY.

      • Also, it takes longer to get from downtown to downtown by flying private than driving after you go out of the way twice to airports outside town. You can see the developments where the old, convenient airports were in both towns on the drive to and from the airport.