FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen reaffirmed his agency’s commitment to safety and bilateral cooperation with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) during a panel discussion Tuesday morning at NBAA-BACE 2022 with Patrick Ky, executive director of EASA. “People have an expectation of safety no matter where in the world they fly or whatever they plan to fly on,” Nolen said during the first-day opening session.
“The relationship between EASA and the FAA has never been better,” said Ky, noting that the coordination, cooperation, and sharing of information between the agencies, particularly at a recent International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) conference in June and its triennial assembly earlier this month, “was just absolutely perfect. It shows that we are working very well together.”
This commitment carries over to sustainability and ICAO’s goal to bring global aviation to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and to shepherd advanced air mobility (AAM) into the world aviation community, said Nolen. Ky added that the FAA and EASA already have worked together to certify aircraft engines to run on 50 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) blends, are exploring 100 percent SAF certification in new generation engines, and continuing to evaluate the trade-offs between operational efficiency and sustainability. He said EASA is currently working to qualify SAF and monitoring how it is introduced throughout Europe.
With regard to AAM, Ky said EASA plans to assist in the certification of these vehicles in time to transport passengers from Paris Charles De Gaulle (CDG) International Airport to the center city during the upcoming Paris Olympic Games in 2024, including recent policy guidance on vertiport construction and certification and route assessment. “It’s a very complicated issue. But we are not talking about mass transport. We are talking about maybe a dozen vehicles that would fly every day,” he noted.