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Joby receives FAA nod to launch air taxi services commercially

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

Although the certification provides the necessary clearance and is a significant milestone, the company still has several regulatory barriers to remove before its five-seater aircraft can legally fly passengers.

The FAA’s Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate is among the three regulatory approvals critical to Joby’s planned launch of the all-electric air transport service in 2024.

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

The FAA said it issued the Joby 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) ahead of listing on Manhattan, New York City, USA, August 11, 2021. REUTERS / Andrew Kelly

Joby said they plan to use the conventional aircraft “to refine systems and procedures ahead of the launch of the eVTOL service targeting 2024.”

Joby shares closed up 8%.

Asked about Joby’s statement that the approval was ahead of schedule – with the completion of the process originally expected in the second half of 2022 – the FAA said it “does not set a schedule for applicants and can not talk about their characterization of the timing.”

In February, Jobys piloted prototype aircraft encountered an accident during a flight test at the California base, but no injuries were reported.

Earlier this month, the FAA said it had changed the course of its approach to approving pilots for future eVTOL aircraft, but did 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 reported costs related to flight certification and early production.

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

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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