Boeing urges air taxi safety standards be stricter

Boeing on Tuesday urged regulators to set the same strict safety standards for the new generation of air taxi as for commercial airplanes.

Boeing Chief Strategy Officer Mark Allen's address to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) marks the first time Boeing has spoken on such issues.

According to Allen, the overall effort should have centered around bringing to market all modern air mobility vehicles and operating systems that are aligned with airliner safety levels, air transport, and commerce.

Regulatory agencies have requirements for the design and operation of air cabs. This mode of transport can take off and land vertically to take passengers to airports or make short trips between cities. This allows them to overcome traffic jams.

Analysts say the certification standards that air cabs must meet will be a deciding factor for many new projects seeking investment.

Allen said regulators should approach air mobility from the same safety perspective as commercial transportation because air cabs fly over crowded urban areas, even if they carry fewer passengers than commercial planes.

Small planes "are not a day-to-day flying solution for broad mobility," he told Reuters on the sidelines of the event. They are not used as heavily and densely in urban environments.

While the European Union's Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) already has similar requirements for air cabs, it still remains unclear whether the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will have such requirements.

Enhanced air vehicles are usually categorized as smaller than jetliners, but the designs could meet other criteria.

Allen said global regulators should ideally develop common requirements for certifying such aircraft, but that will take time. "It's more important for us to have consensus on commercial safety standards," he said.

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with all the news!