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Then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is standing in front of a eVTOL aircraft during a visit to the Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks at the eVTOL aircraft during a visit to the Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street. July 18, 2022. Used under CC BY 2.0., https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

New Law Library Report on Regulation of Advanced Air Mobility in the EU and UK Published

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Advanced air mobility (AAM) or urban air mobility (UAM) aircraft are taking off! AAM and UAM aircraft are aircraft equipped with new technologies that are capable of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL), with UAM being a subset of AAM occurring in urban environments. Examples include drone flights with passengers on board, such as air taxis or airport shuttles, or the transport of goods, such as last mile delivery of small goods, cargo, or medical/emergency equipment.

The Global Legal Research Directorate (GLRD) of the Law Library of Congress recently completed research on the regulation of AAM in the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK). We are excited to share with you the report that resulted from this research, Regulation of Advanced Air Mobility : European Union, United Kingdom. 

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is currently preparing amendments to the existing regulations that are applicable to manned aviation and proposing a new delegated regulation which addresses air mobility with manned VTOL-capable aircraft, among other topics, with a possible adoption by the European Commission in the fourth quarter of 2023. In July 2019, the EASA published a VTOL special condition (SC) to address some VTOL-capable aircraft under certification, in particular air taxis (SC-VTOL-01). It is expected that the SC-VTOL-01 will be the basis for developing a VTOL certification specification in the future. Two German companies are seeking type certification for their VTOL-capable aircrafts under SC-VTOL-01, which is expected for 2024 and 2025, respectively.

In the UK, AAM is currently being governed by the existing regulatory framework that applies to all aircraft. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has adopted a “by case approach” to determine whether new regulations should be introduced for AAM aircraft, and the Law Commission is currently reviewing the legislative framework for aircraft, including AAM.

We invite you to review the information provided in our report. This report is an addition to the Law Library’s Legal Reports (Publications of the Law Library of Congress) collection, which includes over 4,000 historical and contemporary legal reports covering a variety of jurisdictions, researched and written by foreign law specialists with expertise in each area. To receive alerts when new reports are published, you can subscribe to email updates and the RSS feed for Law Library Reports (click the “subscribe” button on the Law Library’s website). The Law Library also regularly publishes articles related to drones in the Global Legal Monitor.

Subscribe to In Custodia Legis – it’s free! – to receive interesting posts drawn from the Law Library of Congress’s vast collections and our staff’s expertise in U.S., foreign, and international law.

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