Aug, 11, 2022
Rep. Garret Graves (R-6-LA), ranking member of the House Aviation Subcommittee, recently encouraged the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to ensure timely review of an upcoming Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR), which would enable electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL) entry into commercial passenger and cargo service as early as 2024.
The FAA recently changed its regulatory policy regarding these aircraft, determining they would be regulated as “powered-lift” aircraft, potentially delaying the implementation of the advanced air mobility (AAM) industry.
“NBAA thanks Rep. Graves’ leadership on advanced air mobility issues,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “He has been a continuous supporter of the eVTOL and AAM industries. We are encouraged that his ongoing efforts will keep the FAA, DOT and OMB on track for timely publication of the SFAR to ensure regulatory framework is in place when eVTOLs are certificated and eventually safely integrated into the National Airspace System.”
In the Aug. 8 letter to the OMB, Graves expressed the House Aviation Subcommittee’s continued support of FAA’s efforts on AAM, saying, “Such work should include maximizing the existing regulatory system to the greatest extent and prioritizing agency internal and interagency coordination and planning to facilitate the introduction of these aircraft and enabling autonomy and other technologies.”
Further, the committee directed the FAA to ensure timely development and review of the proposed SFAR to allow for pilot licensing and commercial operations by Dec. 31, 2024.
“I know that the AAM industry stands ready to assist the FAA in establishing a regulatory foundation that will not only allow for safe and reliable AAM operations on day one but will also inform a permanent regulatory pathway for AAM operations going forward in a manner that is consistent with the operating rules for conventional aircraft,” Graves added.
Meanwhile, NBAA continues its leadership in AAM initiatives, including establishing the NBAA AAM Roundtable, supporting the bipartisan Congressional AAM Caucus and drafting appropriate language for the AAM industry for the FY23 THUD Appropriations bill and the upcoming FAA reauthorization bill.
“NBAA is committed to ongoing leadership in supporting the AAM industry, working with FAA, DOT and OMB, as well as educating congressional representatives, to ensure timely release of a reasonable SFAR, consistent with appropriate international standards,” said Bolen.