EASA has been working over the past two years to build the certification framework necessary for commercialized eVTOL operations. These efforts have included proposed rule-making for eVTOL design specifications, vertiport operations, and organizational streamlines to combine general aviation and eVTOL aerial mobility certification.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of the United Kingdom has this week announced that it will follow the standards set in place by EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) for eVTOL certification. The rule set by EASA known as Special Conditions (SC)-VTOL will now be the basis for all new aerial mobility platforms in the UK and EU.
“The decision to adopt SC-VTOL as our certification basis will support U.K. manufacturers and enable them to easily access the global market for eVTOL aircraft,” said Rob Bishton, CAA’s group director for safety and airspace regulation, in a press release. “We will continue to work with the industry to help promote and facilitate innovation throughout aviation.”
The Special Conditions will allow manufactures and the CAA to develop safety requirements as these new technologies come to market and provide the basis for approval.
In implementing these new standards, the CAA will continue to proactively engage and collaborate with other global national aviation authorities, such as the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to share approaches, lessons learned, and safety insights.
Harmonizing safety standards across nations and continents helps to maintain high levels of safety, reduces industry costs, and increases efficiency in the regulations development process. Through this governmental collaboration, the UK aerial mobility industry will now have easier access to a wider global market.
Why it’s important: Streamlined and harmonized certification standards across Europe and North America would greatly simplify eVTOL maker’s development timelines and costs while ensuring a uniform level of safety in various geographic markets. As eVTOL aircraft begin achieving certification with EASA, expect to see other countries’ certifications roll out shortly after thanks to efforts like these between aviation regulatory agencies.