Joby Aviation has received a Part 135 air carrier certificate from the FAA, allowing the California-based eVTOL developer to begin on-demand commercial air taxi operations. The five-stage certification process included the submission of more than 850 pages of manuals for approval and required Joby’s initial group of pilots to demonstrate mastery of the company’s procedures and training under FAA observation.
The approval, announced on May 26, will allow Joby to use conventional airplanes—initially, its Cirrus SR22 and later “a small number” of other fixed-wing aircraft—to refine systems and procedures ahead of launching eVTOL operations planned for 2024. The company has not confirmed whether it intends to start commercial charter flights in advance of its longer-term objective of launching eVTOL air taxi services.
“The procedures we’ve prepared lay a foundation for our future eVTOL operations,” said Joby head of air operations and people Bonny Simi. “Over the coming months, we will use our Part 135 certificate to exercise the operations and customer technology platforms that will underpin our multimodal ridesharing service, while also refining our procedures to ensure seamless journeys for our customers."
Joby said it won the Part 135 approval ahead of schedule; it last indicated that it expected the certification in the second half of this year.
“Receiving this certificate ahead of schedule is a testament to the incredible dedication and hard work of our team,” added Simi.
Once Joby receives a type certificate for its eVTOL aircraft, the company will complete the FAA review process to add the model to its existing air carrier certificate.
Joby previously announced a partnership with training provider and simulator maker CAE to develop and qualify flight-simulation training devices that Joby will use to train commercially rated pilots to fly its eVTOL aircraft.
Joby designed its all-electric aircraft to transport a pilot and four passengers up to 150 miles on a single charge at speeds of up to 200 mph. The company recently announced the results of acoustic testing with NASA, which confirmed the aircraft met its target for low noise emissions during takeoff, landing, and overhead flight.