The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

On The Radar

EASA's New Aviation Safety Plan Covers eVTOL Technology and Operations

EASA this week published the latest edition of its European Plan for Aviation Safety (EPAS). The document—which summarizes what the European regulator sees as safety development priorities between now and 2026—embraces several aspects of the advanced air mobility sector, including electric and hybrid-electric propulsion and the use of machine learning technology.

The preamble to the plan makes it clear that EASA views its environmental protection strategy for aviation as going hand in hand with safety imperatives. It says the latest document also takes account of some lessons learned from the Covid pandemic.

Section 3.1.3 of the first of three volumes of the latest EPAS document focuses entirely on a strategic approach to "the safe integration of new technologies and concepts.” This section covers propulsion systems (including hydrogen powertrains), artificial intelligence, and the safe operation of drones and manned eVTOL aircraft.

Volume two of EPAS spells out EASA’s recommended safety actions, including those covering eVTOL aircraft in section 14. Volume three is the latest version of EASA’s “safety risk portfolio” covering a wide variety of specific risk areas, and in section 24 for rotorcraft, there is a brief mention of “eVTOL systems-related issues.”