Daily Memo: Former FAA Chief Billy Nolen On I28 Vision For U.S. Electric Air Taxi Ops

The FAA has published an implementation plan for advanced air mobility that envisions electric air taxi services “at scale” at one or more key locations in the U.S. by 2028, part of a proposed public-private initiative called Innovate28 (I28).

But that 2028 target—three years later than the first air taxis from Archer and Joby Aviation are expected to enter service—does not mean the agency has budged from its original mid-decade target for type certifying those aircraft, the FAA’s former acting Administrator Billy Nolen—now Chief Safety Officer with Archer—tells Aviation Daily in an exclusive interview…

Initial offerings from Archer and Joby are expected to consist of lower-frequency airport shuttle services concentrated in large cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. By 2028, however, the FAA envisions at least one—and possibly several—fairly dense markets with electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) vehicles operating at higher tempo alongside drones and commercial aircraft, according to the implementation plan document.