Joby Receives FAA Approval to Commercially Launch Air Taxi Services


WASHINGTON, May 26 (Reuters) – Joby Aviation Inc (JOBY.N) said on Thursday it had received certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that would allow it to begin commercial air taxi operations with conventional aircraft.

Although the certification provides the necessary clearance and is an important step, the company still has regulatory hurdles to clear before its five-seater plane can legally carry passengers.

The FAA’s Part 135 air carrier certificate is among three key regulatory approvals for Joby’s planned launch of the all-electric ridesharing service in 2024.

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The certification would allow Joby to operate its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft as an air taxi service in cities and communities across the United States.

The FAA said it issued Joby the Part 135 certificate on May 19 “after completing the five-phase certification process. Joby has one aircraft on the certificate, a CIRRUS-SR22.”

A Joby Aviation air taxi is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) before their listing in Manhattan, New York, U.S., August 11, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Joby said he plans to use the conventional aircraft “to refine systems and procedures before the launch of eVTOL service scheduled for 2024.”

Joby shares closed up 8%.

Asked about Joby’s statement that approval was ahead of schedule — with the process originally expected to be completed in the second half of 2022 — the FAA said it “does not set timelines for applicants and cannot not talk about their characterization of the moment.”

In February, Joby’s prototype piloted aircraft encountered an accident during a flight test at its base in California, but no injuries were reported.

Earlier this month, the FAA said it had changed course on its pilot approval approach for future eVTOL aircraft, but does not expect it to delay certification or operational approvals. . Read more

Joby reported a net loss of $62.3 million in the first quarter of this year and pointed to costs related to aircraft certification and early manufacturing operations.

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Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington and Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva & Shri Navaratnam

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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