Joby Aviation has received certification from a US regulator that would allow it to begin its air taxi operations commercially with a conventional aircraft.
Although the certification is a significant milestone, the company still has additional regulatory hurdles to clear before its electrical vertical take off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft can legally fly passengers.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued its Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate, one of three regulatory approvals critical for Joby’s planned launch of all-electric aerial ride-sharing service in 2024.
Final certification would let Joby operate its eVTOL aircraft as an air taxi service in cities and communities across the US.
The FAA said it issued Joby the Part 135 certificate on May 19 “after they completed the five-phase certification process. Joby has one aircraft on the certificate, a Cirrus SR22”.
The Cirrus SR22 is a five-seat light aircraft with a conventional fuel-injected Continental IO-550 engine.
Refining Air Taxi Service
Joby said it plans to use the conventional aircraft “to refine systems and procedures in advance of launching eVTOL service targeted for 2024.”
Joby shares fell 1.8% on Tuesday after closing up 6% on Friday. Monday was a public holiday in the US.
In February, Joby’s piloted prototype aircraft met with an accident during a flight test at its base in California but no injuries were reported.
Earlier this month, FAA said it had shifted course on its approach to approving pilots for future eVTOL air taxi aircraft but does not expect it to delay certification or operational approvals.
Joby reported a net loss of $62.3 million in the first quarter this year and flagged costs related to air taxi certification and early manufacturing operations.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell