Joby Aviation announced on Thursday that it has received its Part 135 air carrier certificate from the FAA, allowing the company to operate aircraft commercially. Joby reported that the certification process included the submission of more than 850 pages of manuals and required its pilots to “demonstrate mastery of the Company’s procedures and training under FAA observation.” The company, which is also developing an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft intended for its commercial passenger service, plans to use conventional aircraft—namely the Cirrus SR22—to “refine systems and procedures” prior to beginning eVTOL service.
“The procedures we’ve prepared lay a foundation for our future eVTOL operations,” said Bonny Simi, Joby head of air operations and people. “Over the coming months, we will use our Part 135 certificate to exercise the operations and customer technology platforms that will underpin our multi-modal ridesharing service, while also refining our procedures to ensure seamless journeys for our customers.”
Before launching eVTOL operations, which it is targeting for 2024, Joby noted that it still needs type and production certificates for its aircraft. The company’s five-seat, piloted eVTOL is expected to travel at speeds of up to 200 MPH and have a maximum single-charge range of 150 miles. Joby faces challenges including a recent change in the FAA’s approach to eVTOL certification and the crash of one of its uncrewed eVTOL prototypes during a flight test earlier this year.