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.