GAMA and EASA talk electric

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has met with European regulators to discuss the viability and challenges facing the growing eVTOL market in Europe.

Thirty GAMA representatives representing eVTOL manufacturers met with EASA, the European Commision and SESAR JU (Single European Sky ATM Research Joint Undertaking) to discuss the emerging VTOL market.

The representatives came from eight different countries.

Anna Dietrich, GAMA eVTOL subcommittee co-chair and Terrafugia co-founder and head of regulatory affairs, said: “Global manufacturers have been working within GAMA over the last 12 months to prepare the ecosystem for eVTOL. We are really pleased that EASA is developing a path forward for this new era of aviation.

“Leveraging the body of existing rules and standards wherever possible while appropriately addressing the new aspects of this industry will help us efficiently achieve our shared goals for safe, innovative vehicles that provide significant value to society.”

The group discussed a variety of opportunities and challenges facing the emerging aircraft type and urban air mobility. Regulatory challenges, certification, maintenance operations, licensing and the development of UTM space were the main topics covered.

Tassilo Wanner, GAMA eVTOL Subcommittee co-chair and Lilium vice president, global public and regulatory affairs said: “We are very encouraged that Europe is moving ahead without delay and with a focus on performance-based rules. Our work this week has been to ensure we are also moving in the right direction for this global industry.”

The FAA has been the at the forefront of VTOL discussion as most VTOL manufacturers are in the US. However, EASA is keen to attract the VTOL manufacturers and is looking at how best to incorporate the aircraft type into the existing airspace. Last month, EASA released a proposed special condition for VTOL aircraft.

The proposal outlines potential certification standards for the aircraft type, including performance criteria, landing requirements and operating limitations. The full proposal can be found here.