FAA proposes rules for eVTOL operations by mid-2020s


The FAA has proposed new rules to assist in paving the way for commercial air taxi operations by the middle of the decade.

The agency issued a proposal to update its air carrier definition on Monday to add “powered-lift” operations to regulations covering other commercial operations like airlines, charters and air tours.

In a statement to Reuters, the FAA said: “This powered-lift definitions rule lays the foundation that will allow operators to use powered-lift aircraft.”

The FAA is separately developing a powered-lift operations rule for certifying pilots and operating requirements to fly eVTOLs. The agency expects to publish the proposal in summer 2023.

Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen last week said that the agency does not expect the first eVTOL to begin commercial operations until late 2024 or more likely early 2025.

“At any rate it won’t happen until the safety piece has been satisfied,” he said.

Nolen said during the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics air taxis will be in high demand. “We may see some of them in the years leading up, but nowhere near the scale in 2028,” he added.

The FAA expects to issue an implementation plan next May that will help it meet the industry’s growth plans, he said.

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