Joby says that achieving this goal will make it the first airline with electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. The Part 135 certificate will allow Joby to operate its S4 eVTOL as an air taxi service in cities and communities around the United States. Full Part 135 certification is expected to be completed in 2022.
Joby says it expects the S4 to receive its type certificate in 2023, but until then the company plans to operate traditional, certified aircraft under its Part 135 certificate.
After completing the initial stage, Joby says that it will embark on the next step in the Part 135 certification process in August, with the submission of additional application materials, including a full complement of airline operating manuals. After those are approved, the FAA will visit Joby locations to observe training sessions and witness flight operations before issuing final approval. When the Joby eVTOL aircraft is certified, it will be added to the Part 135 certificate. Air taxi operations using Joby’s eVTOL are planned to begin in 2024.
In 2020, Joby agreed to a “G-1” aircraft certification basis with the FAA, in line with existing Part 23 requirements for normal category airplanes, with special conditions introduced to address requirements specific to Joby’s unique aircraft. Under this approach, Joby will employ commercial airline pilots certificated under existing FAA regulations to fly in its passenger service.
The Part 135 process is led by Joby Head of Air Operations Bonny Simi, an aviation executive who held key operational and strategic positions at JetBlue Airways.
In February 2021, Joby announced its intention to merge with Reinvent Technology Partners, a special-purpose acquisition company. The company said that an Extraordinary Meeting of Shareholders has been scheduled for August 5 to vote on the approval and adoption of Reinvent Technology Partners’ business combination with Joby.