The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration proposed new rules that would make commercial air taxi operations possible by the middle of the decade.
Electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, touted as future flying taxis, have attracted interest around the world, and many eVTOL companies have gone public.
The FAA proposed to add powered-lift operations to regulations covering other commercial operations in addition to its definition of air carrier.
The agency said in a statement to Reuters, This powered-lift definitions rule lays the foundation that will allow operators to use powered-lift aircraft. A powered-lift operations rule is being drafted by the agency for certifying pilots and operating requirements for flying eVTOLs.
The proposal is expected to be published next summer by the FAA.
Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen told reporters last week that the agency does not expect the first eVTOL to begin commercial operations until late 2024 or early 2025.
He said that it won't happen until the safety piece is satisfied.
Airlines are looking at launching services to ferry passengers to airports or on short trips between cities using battery-powered aircraft that can take off and land vertically.
The FAA issued airworthiness criteria that Air taxi startup Joby Aviation must meet for operating its Model JAS 4 -- 1 eVTOL aircraft earlier this month.
Joby expects to start commercial passenger air taxi services in 2025 after receiving FAA approvals.