Joby’s unique (?) TC and AOC strategy

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Joby Aero leading eVTOL developer

Already reached “G-1” certification basis

Now filing for Part 135 operating certificate


Joby Aero has announced a unique strategy, at least since 1919. The leading eVTOL designer, developer and manufacturer has filed for a Normal Category Airplanes Type Certificate under 14 CFR Part 23 and has already  reached a “G-1” certification basis with the FAA with special conditions introduced to address requirements specific to Joby’s unique aircraft. That is standard fare for organizations seeking to be able to sell their aircrafts.

What is out of the ordinary is Joby’s intention to add a 14 CFR Part 135 certificate (‘airline operating certificate” or AOC) to its prospective manufacturing rights. Currently there are no TC holders that also are entitled to the rights to carry passengers, i.e., AOC. The process for acquiring P135 authority is not as burdensome as reputed, especially with the support of a Qualified Certification Consultant and the Joby team (see below) should meet the standards of 14 CFR Part 119.

Joby Op Specs[It is testament to Joby’s well-crafted strategy that it will operate aircraft other than its eVTOL vehicle until the S4 is found fully airworthy. For some indefinite period of time, Joby will be demonstrating its operational competence to its FSDO. By this sequencing, when the S4 aircraft is ready to be put on the Joby OpSpecs, the FAA should have actual performance experience with air carrier’s abilities. So, the eVTOL,  likely to be the 1st receiving the TC/PC/AC triple authorities for this new technology, will be added to a known quantity. The FSDO will have an easier risk analysis. ]













The unique aspect of the Joby plan is its intent to operate its S4.  There was a time when the Boeing Aircraft Company decided to operate its aircrafts under the name Boeing Air Transport Corporation.  Boeing later acquired fellow aeronautical manufacturers Hamilton and Standard propellers, Chance-Vought, Northrop, Sikorsky and Stearman. This umbrella of companies (plus more airline acquisitions) was called the United Aircraft Company. Similarly, the air carrier was called United Airlines.

This conglomerate rolled along and in 1936-37,Boeing introduced the B-247 aircraft– the first vehicle capable of transcontinental, first pressurized and most comfortable passenger cabin. This new model was the preferred way to fly. Not surprisingly, TWA asked to buy this modern airliner and the United Aircraft Company refused.

The Air Mail controversy and a more anti-trust interested Department of Justice forced United Aircraft to spin off United Airlines. The market power of a single entity producing the planes and buying this product was too much—a lesson for Joby?

b-247 AND JOBY S4


Joby Aviation has begun the first of five stages in securing an FAA Part 135 air carrier certificate.



Joby Aero Inc. (“Joby”), a California-based company developing all-electric aircraft for commercial passenger service, says that achieving this goal will make it the first airline with electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. The Part 135 certificate will allow Joby to operate its S4 eVTOL as an air taxi service in cities and communities around the United States. Full Part 135 certification is expected to be completed in 2022.



Joby says it expects the S4 to receive its type certificate in 2023, but until then the company plans to operate traditional, certified aircraft under its Part 135 certificate.

After completing the initial stage, Joby says that it will embark on the next step in the Part 135 certification process in August, with the submission of additional application materials, including a full complement of airline operating manuals. After those are approved, the FAA will visit Joby locations to observe training sessions and witness flight operations before issuing final approval. When the Joby eVTOL aircraft is certified, it will be added to the Part 135 certificate. Air taxi operations using Joby’s eVTOL are planned to begin in 2024.


In 2020, Joby agreed to a G-1” aircraft certification basis with the FAA, in line with existing Part 23 requirements for normal category airplanes, with special conditions introduced to address requirements specific to Joby’s unique aircraft. Under this approach, Joby will employ commercial airline pilots certificated under existing FAA regulations to fly in its passenger service.S4

The Part 135 process is led by Joby Head of Air Operations Bonny Simi, an aviation executive who held key operational and strategic positions at JetBlue Airways…


More information from Joby website

The process is led by Joby’s Head of Air Operations, Bonny Simi, an aviation executive who held key operational and strategic positions at JetBlue Airways as it underwent a period of rapid growth. Simi also has over 30 years of experience as an airline pilot at JetBlue and United Airlines.

Bonnie Simi

“We’re excited to reach this milestone on the path toward becoming the first eVTOL airline in the world,” said Simi. “We look forward to working closely with the FAA as we prepare to welcome passengers to a new kind of air travel — one that is environmentally friendly, quiet enough to operate close to cities and communities, and will save people valuable time.”

Joby’s air operations team includes numerous aviation industry veterans with extensive experience, including Kellen Mollahan[1], a former MV-22 pilot with the U.S. Marine Corps, as assistant director of operations; Matthew Lykins, an expert maintenance safety inspector and auditor, avionics technician and pilot with more than 30 years of experience, as director of maintenance; Peter Wilson, MBE FRAeS,  former lead test pilot for the F-35B program with more than 35 years of flight test and instructor experience, as director of flight standards and training; and Jill Wilson, an aviation safety leader who has held roles at Embraer, XO Jet and Cape Air.

JOBY team

[1] USNA 2004-05 Offshore Sailing Roster Co-skipper America[apos]s Promise, AP2



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1 Comment on "Joby’s unique (?) TC and AOC strategy"

  1. JOBY looks like they are serious about doing things by the book. Should pay off!
    Nice write up !!

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