LONDON – Joby Aviation has officially applied for aircraft certification in Japan.
After it was announced that the Japanese and the U.S. regulatory authorities confirmed their agreement that they would provide a more streamlined approval process for U.S. applicants who wish to validate their eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft designs in Japan, Joby applied their designs to be approved in Japan.
Joby is a relatively young start-up company that is based in California, U.S., which was founded in 2009. They design and make their own planes with a focus on making eVTOL aircraft.
Joby’s application to the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) for the validation of an FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) type certification is believed to be the first of its kind and is a necessary step into entering the Japanese market to launch aerial ridesharing experiences in Japan.
The founder and CEO of Joby, JoeBen Bevirt, commented on the application, saying: “We’re incredibly excited about the potential for electric aerial ridesharing to offer a new form of clean and affordable urban and regional connectivity across Japan.
“With 92% of residents living in urban areas, we have a spectacular opportunity to save people time in congested cities like Tokyo, Yokohama, and Osaka while also reducing their impact on the environment.
“We strongly believe that a collaborative approach to regulation helps to foster greater safety and, by working hand-in-hand on certification, Japan and the U.S. are ensuring that both countries continue to play a leading role in the adoption of climate-friendly transportation.”
Joby already has a strong connection in Japan and partnered up with Toyota in 2018 as a strategic partner.
Toyota is lending its expertise in manufacturing process development and high-volume production to Joby. Toyota is also Joby’s largest outside investor, having invested nearly $400 million in the company.
Joby has also partnered up with ANA, Japan’s largest airline, to bring ridesharing aerial services to Japan.
Joby is a member of Japan’s Public-Private Conference for the Future Air Mobility Revolution, established by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry to accelerate the adoption of aerial ridesharing in the country.
Type certification is a multi-year process that sees a company undertake rigorous testing and documentation across each aircraft system to prove the aircraft meets safety standards and is ready for commercial operations.
Similar type certification processes are undertaken for all aircraft, big and small – an approach that has helped shape air travel into one of the safest forms of transportation available today.
If Joby manages to actually get their type certificate in Japan, then, with their high urbanization rate, transporting people from one side of the city to the other side would not only increase the time utilized.
For example, board members would also reduce congestion in the city centers, especially in Tokyo, as the cars would be deemed unnecessary and slow compared to the eVTOL aircraft from Joby.
The other major benefit is that hospitals could also start using these to send medical help to more restricted parts of the city instead of helicopters.
This would not only reduce CO2, but it would also be able to increase survivability rates for many people as they could also transport people in dire need of an emergency operation.