AIR TRANSPORT

Joby Begins its Journey to Becoming First eVTOL Airline

Anurag Khadkikar | July 30, 2021

Joby Begins its Journey to Becoming First eVTOL Airline
Joby Aero Inc., a California-based company developing all-electric aircraft for commercial passenger service, announced that it has begun obtaining a Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) to establish the first eVTOL airline.

Joby needs a Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate to operate its revolutionary aircraft as an air taxi service in cities and communities throughout the United States. This is one of three regulatory approvals required for the anticipated launch of Joby’s all-electric aerial ridesharing service in 2024, together with a Type Certificate and a Production Certificate.

Joby is now in the first of five phases required to obtain Part 135 certification in 2022. It plans to begin the next stage of the process in August, with the submission of more application materials, including the complete set of airline operating manuals. After that documentation is approved, the FAA will visit Joby locations to monitor training sessions and flying operations before granting final approval.

Because Joby’s all-electric vertical take-off and landing (“eVTOL”) aircraft is not expected to be type certified until 2023, the company intends to operate traditional, existing, certified aircraft under Part 135 air carrier certification beginning in 2022 before adding the Joby aircraft to the airline operating certificate once it is certified.

Bonny Simi, Joby’s Head of Air Operations, is in charge of the process. He is an aviation expert who held important operational and strategic roles at JetBlue Airways during rapid growth. Simi has also worked as an airline pilot for JetBlue and United Airlines for over 30 years.

Joby’s air operations team includes:

  • A number of aviation industry veterans with extensive experience, including Kellen Mollahan, a former MV-22 pilot with the United States Marine Corps, as assistant director of operations.
  • Matthew Lykins, an expert maintenance safety inspector, auditor, avionics technician, and pilot with more than 30 years of experience, is a director of maintenance.
  • Peter Wilson, former lead test pilot with the United States Air Force.

Joby’s all-electric aircraft is designed to transport a pilot and four passengers while emitting zero emissions during operation. The aircraft has a range of 150 miles, a top speed of 200 miles per hour, and a revolutionary low noise footprint.

Joby agreed with the FAA last year to a “G-1” certification basis for its aircraft in accordance with existing Part 23 requirements for Normal Category Airplanes, with additional restrictions introduced to meet needs specific to Joby’s unique aircraft. As a result, Joby will fly its passenger service using commercial airline pilots certified under existing FAA rules according to this certification approach.

In February 2021, Joby announced its plan to combine with Reinvent Technology Partners, a special purpose acquisition company that partners with bold leaders and companies using a “venture capital at scale” approach. RTP has scheduled an Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders on August 5, 2021, to vote on the approval and acceptance of RTP’s business combination with Joby.

About Joby
Joby Aero, Inc. is a transportation company based in California building an all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft that it plans to operate as part of a quick, quiet, and convenient air taxi service starting in 2024. The aircraft, which has a range of 150 miles on a single charge and can carry a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 mph, can transport a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 mph. It is intended to assist in the reduction of urban congestion and the acceleration of the transition to sustainable modes of transportation. Joby was established in 2009, employs over 800 people, and has offices in Santa Cruz, San Carlos, Marina, California, Washington, D.C., and Munich, Germany.

Spotlight

Cargo traffic is projected to double by 2035 resulting in a 70 percent increase in the world freighter fleet. To accommodate this growth, Boeing estimates that approximately 1,300 airplanes will be removed from passenger service and converted to a freighter configuration in the next 20 years.


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