The FAA has granted rival eVTOL developers Joby and Archer the Part 145 repair station certificates they will need to perform maintenance on the eVTOL air taxis they aim to bring to market in 2025. The companies are believed to be among the first eVTOL manufacturers to earn Part 145 authorization.
Joby and Archer, both of which are based in California, aim to launch and operate their own commercial air taxi services with their respective four-passenger eVTOL air taxis after they obtain FAA type certification, which they expect to earn by the end of this year.
“This is a major vote of confidence from the FAA on Archer’s promise and potential for operating a full-scale urban air mobility service in cities across the country,” said Archer co-founder and CEO Adam Goldstein. “As we continue to rapidly advance towards commercial operations, we will be working closely with the FAA and regulators around the world to ensure Archer’s aircraft are safe and ready to transform mobility, providing a sustainable, low-noise, and cost-competitive alternative to decongest our biggest cities.”
Joby received its Part 135 air carrier certificate from the FAA in May 2022, allowing the company to conduct on-demand charter flights. It has been using that certification and already-certified conventional airplanes, including the company's Cirrus SR22, “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,” said Bonny Simi, president of operations at Joby.
With its Part 145 certificate in hand, Joby intends to begin conducting maintenance activities on traditional aircraft—including airframe, radio, and instrument repairs—and plans to expand its MRO service offerings “in the coming months and years,” the company said. The Part 145 certification also permits Joby to provide paid training to aspiring aircraft technicians. Joby has already been involved in workforce training through its partnership with New York City’s Aviation High School. Those repair and training activities will take place at Joby's pilot production line and flight test facilities in Marina, California, a Joby spokesperson told AIN.
The Part 145 approval “marks another foundational piece of Joby’s vertically integrated strategy, including aircraft development, manufacturing, charging systems, commercial flight operations, and now maintenance operations, as we prepare to bring our revolutionary eVTOL aircraft to market,” said Simi. “Receiving our Part 145 certificate from the FAA is an important step towards developing the needed maintenance, repair, and overhaul services to support Joby’s commercial flight operations, as well as establishing career pipelines for people who want to become eVTOL aircraft technicians.”