United States, South Korea to partner on advanced air mobility development

American and South Korean flags at Yongin South KoreaThe South Korean and American flags fly next to each other at Yongin, South Korea, August 23, 2016. Courtesy Ken Scar/U.S. Army/Handout via REUTERS

WASHINGTON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Saturday it had agreed to partner with the Korea Office of Civil Aviation (KOCA) future Advanced Air Mobility aircraft development and operations.

The two nations signed a declaration to collaborate and share information on advanced air mobility projects and work together to promote the safety oversight of advanced air mobility projects, the U.S. regulator said.

"Collaborating with our international partners on safely integrating these new technologies will create more efficient, sustainable and equitable transportation options," said Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen.

The announcement comes as companies around the world are racing to develop and eventually win regulatory approval to deploy low-altitude air taxis known as electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL).

The FAA has previously announced similar partnerships with Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in the National Aviation Authorities Network to harmonize certification and integration plans for advanced air mobility projects.

Airlines and others are looking at developing transport services using battery-powered aircraft that can take off and land vertically to ferry travelers to airports or on short trips between cities, allowing them to beat traffic.

Last month, the FAA issued the airworthiness criteria that Archer Aviation (ACHR.N) will need to meet for its M001 air taxi to be certified for use.

The FAA released the criteria for public comment of Archer's eVTOL after it made a similar announcement in November for Joby Aviation's (JOBY.N) Model JAS4-1 eVTOL.

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