Earlier this month, the FAA and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (“EASA”) released updated certification guidance for eVTOL. The FAA published a Draft Advisory Circular (“Draft AC”) 21.17-4, with broad guidance that will form the foundation for establishing certification criteria. The AC is open for comment until August 12, 2024. The same day, EASA updated its existing guideline and issued the Second Issue of the Special Condition for eVTOL, which reflects alignment with the FAA across certain performance criteria. A more streamlined regulatory certification framework will facilitate more efficient processes for manufacturers and greater harmonization of requirements globally – a hallmark of the aviation industry for decades. Draft AC Provides Generally Applicable Certification Criteria: Over the past few years, eVTOL manufacturers have been working closely with the FAA to develop certification standards for their unique aircraft. The Draft AC provides broader guidance to the industry by establishing how the…

EASA is proposing to impose UAS standards throughout EU Member States, harmonizing rules for UAS operations and establishing a low-risk and medium-risk operational categories, Open and Specific, respectively. In addition to the operating rules, EASA is also proposing to impose requirements on manufacturers, importers, and distributors to ensure that operators can more easily comply with the proposed framework, particularly for the operation of off-the-shelf UAS that will not require approvals.  For businesses that want to go beyond the limits of the Open category operations, such as testing new UAS platforms, some form of approval will be required, but EASA is considering mechanisms that can facilitate those operations.  EASA seeks public comments by September 15th.