Joby Aviation Inc., a startup focused on developing air taxis, has formally applied for certification to fly its electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft commercial in the U.K.
Joby announced it would apply for the certification at the Farnborough International Airshow. The certification will be validated by the U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Joby said it believes it is the first eVTOL company to apply for foreign validation.
Joby is currently developing a five-seat, piloted eVTOL aircraft that is designed to transport passengers from city-to-city or inter-city travel. The Joby eVTOL can travel up to 150 miles.
The application for certification in the U.K. follows Joby receiving approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the U.S. of its Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate, which is one part to the company being able to operate on-demand commercial air taxi operations.
The type certification is a multi-year process where a company undergoes testing and documentation across each aircraft system to prove that it is safe and ready for commercial operations. The same type of certification is used for all aircraft, big or small.
“By working hand-in-hand on certification, the U.K. and the U.S. are setting the stage for these two countries to be amongst the earliest adopters of this important new technology,” said JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby. “We strongly believe that a collaborative approach to regulation helps to foster greater safety and accelerate the introduction of new technologies that benefit the public and the environment.”
Bevirt said the potential for electric aerial ridesharing in the U.K. is vast considering 80% of the population lives in or near cities.
The Farnborough International Airshow takes place in England this week.