The following information was initially published by Aviation International News and can be found on AINOnline.
According to a European Union Aviation Safety Agency spokesman, EASA has reorganized its certification directorate, merging the departments handling general aviation fixed-wing and vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft, including drones. The news was reported in a recent publication by Aviation International News (AIN), and follows announcements made earlier in 2020 regarding the Agency’s progress toward a full set of certification standards that Europe will need to adopt for the commercial operation of air taxis.
The new department opened on January 1 and is being led by David Solar, who reports to EASA certification director Rachel Daeschler. Solar previously was in charge of the VTOL department, which includes helicopters.
“This will deal with all general aviation products [including business jets] and all VTOL, as well as the certification of eVTOL [aircraft] and of drones,” explained a spokesman to AIN. However, the directorate does not cover the regulation of operations and flight crew licensing for these categories of aircraft.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency said it now expects to publish the final version of its means of compliance for its new Special Condition VTOL type certification rules in early 2021. In 2019, EASA announced its initial plans to publish certification standards for electric and hybrid VTOL aircraft, aimed at those designed for urban environments such as Lilium, Volocopter, and Vertical Aerospace‘s eVTOLs. According to Aviation International News, EASA had deferred planned publication in December because it needed more time to take account of the large volume of industry comments it received to draft proposals published on May 25, 2020.
On the subject, AIN also wrote that the final version of the means of compliance for a special condition for certifying hybrid and electric propulsion systems will be published in the early part of this year.
Why it’s important: EASA’s effort to normalize the certification process and regulations with regard to VTOL aircraft demonstrates an initiative that will expedite the integration of VTOL technologies into global transportation systems. The merging of departments also conveys promising news for manufacturers and future operators of VTOL aircraft fleets, which will likely lead to continued motivation for pursuing research and development in the growing industry. Additionally, this positive feedback has potential to positively influence investors’ willingness to fund current and prospective projects as the regulatory infrastructure develops.
Source // AINOnline