FAA To Collaborate With Korea on Regulating Advanced Air Mobility

Under a declaration of cooperation U.S. and Korean agencies will work on eVTOL airworthiness, licensing, and operations standards.

The FAA’s planned regulations would affect aircraft like this Vertical Aerospace VX4 eVTOL. [Credit: Shutterstock]

The FAA said it entered an agreement with the Korea Office of Civil Aviation under which the agencies will collaborate on the development and operations of advanced air mobility aircraft.

Under a declaration of cooperation, the agencies said they will work together on air mobility projects, sharing ideas, information, skill and techniques. The agencies also said they will promote the safety oversight of air mobility vehicles including airworthiness, licensing, and operations.

“Collaborating with our international partners on safely integrating these new technologies will create more efficient, sustainable and equitable transportation options,” said Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen.

The announcement follows the FAA’s partnerships formed with Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to help harmonize their certification criteria and integration plans under a program called the National Aviation Authorities Network. 

As numerous startups move forward, some rapidly, with development of eVTOLs and other advanced air mobility vehicles, the FAA has been working on regulations that will govern their use.  This is a difficult undertaking because the wave of electric and hybrid-powered aircraft that take off and land vertically will be challenging to regulate and to integrate into the current air transport system and the crowded airspace it uses.

The U.S. regulator is joining with similar agencies in other nations as part of a broad plan to make advanced air mobility operations similar and compatible across the globe. 

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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