Brian Garrett-Glaser
By Brian Garrett-Glaser

As the managing editor of eVTOL.com, Brian covers the ecosystem emerging around eVTOLs and urban air mobility. Follow him on twitter @bgarrettglaser.

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Singapore to begin concurrent validation of EASA type certificates

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) have updated their agreement on airworthiness certification to enable quicker validation of EASA type certifications — an announcement welcomed by German eVTOL developer Volocopter, which is exploring the city as a potential early launch market.

Volocopter Singapore
Volocopter, a candidate for early eVTOL type certification, flew its air taxi above Singapore’s Marina Bay in October 2019. Volocopter Photo

“With immediate effect, CAAS will be able to validate EASA design approvals concurrently and in close coordination with EASA’s type certification process,” EASA stated in a press release. “It will help aviation companies in Singapore to innovate and benefit from rapidly developing aviation technologies.”

The agreement amends the two parties’ existing Working Arrangement for Airworthiness Certification to allow CAAS specialists to act as observers to the EASA certification process — if CAAS, EASA and the applicant agree — before a type certificate has been granted. In the original agreement, signed in July 2017, the validation by CAAS could only begin after EASA had issued a type certificate.

Volocopter, the only eVTOL developer so far to receive Design Organization Approval (DOA) from EASA, has previously conducted air taxi and VoloPort demonstrations in Singapore, a city Frost & Sullivan recently ranked number one for urban air mobility readiness in the Asia-Pacific region. Volocopter is also studying suitable cities and routes for deployment in Southeast Asia with regional ride-hailing app Grab, with Singapore as one area of focus for the study.

Airbus is also collaborating with CAAS to develop urban air mobility in the city-state, with a focus on developing the necessary unmanned traffic management (UTM) system and other services needed to support passenger flights and other applications. Airbus is not currently pursuing type certification for any eVTOL aircraft, however, as its continues to test-fly its CityAirbus technology demonstrator in Manching, Germany.

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