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EASA proposes rules for VTOL operations

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has proposed rules for safe operations of Vertical Take-Off and Landing aircraft (VTOL), which includes air taxis, paving the way for these innovative aircraft to take to the skies in Europe’s cities. “I am happy to release this Opinion to the European Commission, which is once again the first proposal on this topic to be issued world-wide. With this, we will achieve a harmonised regulatory framework to ensure the safe, sustainable, and secure introduction of VTOL operations,” said EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky.

“Once this has passed into law, individual manufacturers and operators will of course need to obtain all the required approvals from various authorities, but the framework rules for these operations will be complete,” Ky added. The Opinion introduces a comprehensive set of operational requirements for piloted electric air taxis, spanning the domains of operations, flight crew licensing, rules of the air and air traffic management. The proposed rules also establish criteria and processes for the certification and maintenance of drones. The proposals had initially been published for public comment from June-September 2022.


Dassault’s Falcon 6X has won EASA and FAA Certification

On 22 August, the EASA issued the type certificate for Dassault’s Falcon 6X, followed by the FAA. These certifications conclude a more than two-year-long test campaign during which 1,500 flight hours were logged worldwide. The first Falcon 6X aircraft are now undergoing final completion before delivery to customers later this year. The $52.75m jet is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW812D engines. The 5,500 nm / 10,200 km Falcon 6X has a maximum speed of 594mph (956kmh) and a maximum cruise attitude of 51,000ft.

The first Falcon 6X deliveries were rescheduled to take place in mid-2023, after Covid delays prevented the original delivery target of the end of 2022. The aircraft was rolled-out on December 8th, 2020 and its maiden flight took place on March 10th, 2021.


Dutch government steps back on banning business aviation at Schiphol

The controversial proposal to ban Business aviation at Schiphol airport has come to a halt, following EBAA's effort to voice the crucial connectivity role played by the sector in the Netherlands. EBAA commends the decision taken by the departing Dutch Government not to implement a ban on business jets and night flights at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. Additionally, they have revised their initial reduction plan, increasing the maximum number of flights allowed per year from 440,000 to 452,000, to be implemented by November 2024.

This decision marks the long-awaited resolution of the dispute over the proposed restrictions on business aviation, first advanced unilaterally by Schiphol Airport’s management and later backed by the Dutch Government. The proposal was justified by concerns over noise pollution for local residents.

In a press release, EBAA noted: “Besides the lack of the necessary scrutiny and political accountability that such a decision from a departing government would have entailed, the statement emphasized that flight cuts at Schiphol would be contrary to the Balanced Approach, a long-standing internationally agreed process whose core principle is that operational restrictions and flight cuts are the last resort, to be considered only when a number of other steps have been taken to achieve noise mitigation targets.”


People: Luc Tytgat appointed Acting Executive Director of EASA

Victor CEOs Toby Edwards (left) and James Farley (right)

Luc Tytgat has been appointed Acting Executive Director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) with effect from September 1, 2023. Tytgat replaces Patrick Ky, who is leaving the Agency at the expiry of his second 5-year mandate.

Tytgat joined EASA as Director of Strategy and Safety Management in January 2015. Luc Tytgat began his career in aviation in 1976 when he joined the Belgian Military Academy to study aeronautical engineering. After graduating in 1981, he worked in various areas in the Belgian Air Force, ranging from jet maintenance to electronic warfare. In 1990, he obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Management and moved over to the European Commission to join the Cabinet of Karel Van Miert, dealing at that time with state aid, the international market, industry policy and air transport. For the next ten years, he worked on air transport matters in different parts of the Commission – Research and Innovation; Entreprise and Industry; Transport and Energy. At the beginning of his time there, he was deeply involved in harmonisation matters – air traffic control equipment and navigation infrastructure, laying the foundations for work on the Single European Sky.

Luc Tytgat devoted seven years to space issues, managing the Galileo programme and coordinating negotiations between Europe and the United States and Europe and Russia. He was also instrumental in developing the European Union’s first space policy. In 2006, he became Head of the Single Sky Unit at the European Commission. He was responsible for the implementation of the Single European Sky second legislative package and helped set up the SESAR Joint Undertaking. He was directly involved in extending the EASA’s competencies and implementing the Framework Agreement with Eurocontrol. In March 2011 he moved over to Eurocontrol to be appointed Director of the Single Sky.

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