As followers of CAT regularly read, the Advanced Air Mobility sector is nothing less than a global endeavor. In one case, Airbus and Ecocopter signed a Memorandum of Understanding to start collaborating on the launch of urban air mobility services across various countries in Latin America. Elsewhere, Pipistrel (now a Textron company) is upending the training aircraft market, with the firm’s Velis Electro, its flagship electric aircraft, being certified with aviation regulatory agencies and has entered service in 13 countries.
These and other rapidly developments encouraged the FAA to partner with the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in the National Aviation Authorities Network to harmonize its AAM certification criteria and integration plans. This October 18, the FAA cast its net further to increase its collaborative partners – in this instance to include the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau by way of a Declaration of Cooperation. An FAA announcement noted in part, “The declaration continues the safety agencies’ long partnership and formalizes ongoing discussions on certifying and validating new AAM aircraft, production, continued airworthiness, operations, and personnel licensing.”
This October 19, a public affairs specialist in the FAA’s Office of Communications, further told CAT, that, “In addition to our formal partnerships with the National Aviation Authorities Network and Japan Civil Aviation Bureau, the FAA works closely on AAM issues with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and International Civil Aviation Organization,” and emphasized, “We look forward to working with other nations so we can exchange expertise and share progress with each other. Our goal is to harmonize our AAM integration strategies and certification processes to ensure the safest and most efficient introduction of these new technologies.”
One Community Member Insight
The AAM industry and other stakeholders are focused like a laser beam on efforts inside the Washington, DC Beltway to advance the sector. Of no surprise, the FAA announcement caught the attention of Melissa McCaffrey, Director of Policy and Government Affairs at Overair. The executive told CAT, “This new FAA/JCAB partnership speaks to the global nature of this industry and recognizes the importance of international engagement and collaboration with influential international regulators.” McCaffery suggested, “Immediate high priority topics are aircraft certification, pilot qualification requirements, and operational certifications,” and concluded, “Early partnerships and cross-authority communication to harmonize approaches is critical to the industry’s success.”
FAA’s Resource for its AAM Programs
More details about FAA’s AAM activities are available at https://www.faa.gov/air-taxis.