AAM company Joby completes second phase of FAA air taxi certification

Joby AAM air taxi

Next generation advanced air mobility (AAM) company Joby announced it has completed the second of five stages in the Federal Aviation Administration’s certification process, placing the company on course to debut air taxi services planned for 2025.

Santa Cruz-based Joby made the announcement today, saying completion of the second phase of the FAA certification marathon made it the first AAM company or future air taxi service provider to do so. Over the course of last year, Joby regularly revealed its progress in finishing the five different steps in the first phase of the process, which it wrapped up before 2022 ended.

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As part of that initial portion, Joby said it had to define – and the FAA to accept ­­– the “regulatory intent of the safety rules (‘Means of Compliance’)” that must be met for its AAM aircraft to obtain certification. The second phase involves the company stipulating the various manners it will demonstrate compliance with those very rules. FAA certification isn’t considered a grueling slog for nothing.

Joby says becoming the first AAM company to complete the second phase of the certification process – as it says it was to finish the first part – places it on schedule to commence commercial air taxi services initially targeted for 2024 on its revised date the following year.

“Certification is an integral part of everything that an aerospace company does and with the achievement of this critical milestone, we’re now able to confidently focus our efforts on closing the remaining certification plans and completing the testing required to certify our aircraft,” said Didier Papadopoulos, head of aircraft original equipment manufacturing at Joby. “We’re grateful for the FAA’s dedication to the safe introduction of eVTOL technology and their commitment to supporting continued US leadership in this sector.” 

Joby noted the caveat that as small details in aircraft development are modified as the quest for certification advances, those alterations will require minor revisions and returns to secondary phase evaluations that it otherwise considers “essentially complete.”

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Seeking to stay on its AAM development roll, Joby has already begun work on the third phase of the air taxi certification process. In November it submitted what it described as “four area-specific certification plans” to the FAA, as well as its first equipment-level qualification test plan that will permit what it called “for-credit qualification testing” to proceed.

Even as it does that, Joby has also initiated work on the FAA’s fourth certification stage – “Testing and Analysis” – as well as the fifth, “Show and Verify.”

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