Goal Consulting
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Geopolitics & 3-D Negotiations
in Action

Nikos Chatzis

“…Japanese eVTOL designer SkyDrive is the first in the country whose application for type certification for an eVTOL aircraft has been accepted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT), the company announced last Friday.

As the first eVTOL developer to reach this stage in Japan, the announcement signals that SkyDrive is ready to proceed with the type certification process for its compact eVTOL aircraft — a process that typically takes years to complete. The company is one of many eVTOL designers hoping to deploy its aircraft in the Osaka Bay area in 2025, in time for World Expo that year.

Under Japan’s Civil Aeronautics Law, MLIT issues a type certificate to developers whose design, structure, strength, and performance of a newly developed aircraft meet the necessary safety and environmental requirements, as determined through various strength and flight tests.

“SkyDrive and MLIT have been discussing how to safety develop and test this type of aircraft since the Public-Private Council to promote urban air mobility was launched in Japan in 2018 and SkyDrive received permission for the first outdoor test flight of its flying car,” stated Tomohiro Fukuzawa, CEO of SkyDrive, in a press release. “We are very pleased that our application for type certification has been accepted, and we will continue to work in close partnership with the government and MLIT to complete our development of a wholly safe and reliable ‘flying car.’”

Japan, just like other countries around the world, is still nailing down the exact regulatory framework and developing certification criteria for this new sector. A representative from the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau’s (JCAB) Planning Office for Advanced Air Mobility previously told eVTOL.com that JCAB is looking at a regulatory framework closer to that of the United States Federal Aviation Administration than the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, although the JCAB is sharing information with both regulators to develop its standards and type certification criteria.