Joby Aviation, the Santa Cruz, California-based air taxi company, has reached a major milestone. The company says it has been granted the first of three certificates from the Federal Aviation Administration needed to begin commercial passenger flights.
Officially known as a Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate, the FAA granted Joby the certification ahead of schedule. Joby says it did not expect to get the Air Carrier Certificate until the second half of 2022, but with it, Joby can now commence commercial flights for air taxi operations.
While Joby will use conventional aircraft for the time being, Joby’s ultimate goal is to launch an air taxi service comprised of all-electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs) by 2024. An aerial ride share service could revolutionize transport in and between large urban areas. Joby’s eVTOLs can reach speeds of 200 mph and travel 150 miles on a single charge.
Joby still needs two more certificates from the FAA before its eVTOLs can begin ferrying passengers through the skies, but those are expected to be granted by the company’s 2024 service launch date.
“The procedures we’ve prepared lay a foundation for our future eVTOL operations,” says Bonny Simi, head of air operations and people at Joby. “Over the coming months, we will use our Part 135 certificate to exercise the operations and customer technology platforms that will underpin our multi-modal ride sharing service, while also refining our procedures to ensure seamless journeys for our customers. Receiving this certificate ahead of schedule is a testament to the incredible dedication and hard work of our team.”
The news of Joby’s FAA certificate was welcome by investors. As of the time of this writing, Joby stock (ticker: JOBY) is up over 10% in pre-market trading.