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EASA issues proposals for eVTOL air taxi noise assessments

In a new consultation paper “Environmental Protection Technical Specification (EPTS) applicable to eVTOL powered by multiple, vertical, non-tilting, evenly distributed rotors” the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued new proposals for assessing eVTOL noise emissions.

According to the document:

“The Agency has received applications for the certification of products for which the standards to ensure the environmental compatibility (i.e. noise, engine emissions, CO2 emissions) are not stipulated in any of the three volumes of Annex 16 to the Chicago Convention.

“The Agency needs therefore to develop a new regulatory framework in line with the provisions of the essential requirements for environmental compatibility contained in Annex III of the Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 (BR) and related to the certification of the product design. The BR contains the necessary empowerments which allow the Commission to develop further detailed environmental protection requirements under the delegated powers of Article 19(1)(a), for manned aircraft, and under Article 58(1)(a) for unmanned aircraft.

“Article 76 (3) of the BR allows the Agency to issue certification specifications and other detailed specifications, acceptable means of compliance and guidance material for the application of the Basic Regulation and of the delegated and implementing acts adopted on the basis thereof. In absence of the detailed environmental protection requirements adopted by the Commisison in accordance with Article 19(1)(a) or 58(1)(a) of the BR, EASA proposes, as an interim measure,to issue these EPTS to illustrate to first applicants what is expected from them during the certification projects.

“Once sufficient knowledge and experience has been acquired, the necessary regulatory changes will be initiated through an Opinion of the Agency containing proposals for a delegated act to be adopted by the Commission as stipulated in the BR. Considering all the above, the following EPTS are proposed.

“They contain the applicable noise technical specifications and procedures that the applicants should use when applying for the issuance of the type certificate for a vertical take-off and landing aircraft powered by multiple vertical, non-tilting, evenly distributed electric rotors. Because the latter do not emit nitric oxides, carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, visible smoke or non-volatile particulate matter during operation, no specifications for engine emissions are proposed within these EPTS.

“Similarly, the Agency does not propose any CO2 emissions or efficiency specifications for this design at this stage. The present noise technical specifications were initiated from the content of Chapter 8 of ICAO Annex 16 Volume I and associated Evaluation Method of Appendix 2 and Guidance Material from ICAO ETM, which applies to heavy helicopters, to allow for a level playing-field and comparability of technology.

“The procedures are adapted to the characteristics of eVTOL aircraft with multiple vertical, non-tilting, evenly distributed rotors where necessary, for instance, by extending the lower test height limit to anticipate the 1 In case of SC, the associated Interpretative Material and/or Means of Compliance may be published for awareness only and they are not subject to public consultation. Consultation Paper Environmental Protection Technical Specifications applicable to eVTOL powered by multiple, vertical, non-tilting, evenly distributed rotors.

Deadline for comments: 15 June 2023

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