Volocopter has received Design Organization Approval (DOA) from the European Union Safety Agency (EASA), making the German company the first eVTOL startup to receive the approval with VTOL as a scope of work.
The approval entrusts certain design oversight responsibilities to Volocopter, with EASA conducting surveillance of the company as a whole. According to Volocopter, Design Organization Approval will allow development of its eVTOL air taxis to be conducted at a faster pace, with EASA involved at fewer steps during the certification process, providing a “strong competitive advantage for Volocopter within the global context.”
“Receiving this seal of approval from EASA is testament to our rigorously professional processes, world-class team, and devotion to safety here at Volocopter,” stated Jan-Hendrik Boelens, Volocopter’s chief technology officer and head of design organization, in a press release.
Volocopter said the approval followed rigorous audits by EASA to assess the company’s processes, resources, and staff expertise, which ultimately served “to assess and decide whether a company can bring a safe aircraft to market.” Volocopter noted that with EASA Design Organization Approval, it joins the ranks of such long-established organizations as Airbus, Dassault, Leonardo, BAE Systems, ADAC Luftfahrttechnik, and Lufthansa Technik.
Volocopter said its initial approval will be continuously expanded with further privileges, which could eventually include issuing approvals of changes, or permits for flights of its test aircraft.
“Awarding the first DOA with a scope of work for VTOL is a milestone for the industry,” stated EASA executive director Patrick Ky. “We are happy about the successful cooperation and the fact that our safety standards are now part of the rising eVTOL market.”
EASA earlier this year issued a Special Condition for small-category VTOL aircraft to help guide development of novel eVTOL designs. At the time, Ky said that “the establishment of a common set of conditions for certification of these new concepts of vehicles will enable a fair competition on the European market as well as clarity for future manufacturers and their investors.”
Volocopter said it is working toward certification of its eVTOL air taxis within the Special Condition framework.