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Wisk, Japan Airlines partnership for eVTOL framework

May 10, 2023  By Helicopters Staff

Wisk’s 6th generation eVTOL aircraft is a candidate to earn the first-ever certification of an autonomous, all-electric, passenger-carrying aircraft in the U.S. (Photo: Wisk Aero)

Wisk Aero and Japan Airlines are partnering to bring Wisk’s self-flying, all-electric air taxi services to Japan. Additionally, Wisk and Japan Airlines Engineering (JALEC) will work together to develop plans for the maintenance and operation of Wisk’s autonomous air taxis. Wisk is an independent company backed by The Boeing Company and Kitty Hawk Corporation.

“Wisk and Japan Airlines share a commitment to safe, accessible transportation and to ensuring that our services provide long-term benefit to the communities that we serve,” said Brian Yutko, CEO of Wisk. “We look forward to working together to bring autonomous everyday flight to Japan and to further advancing Advanced Air Mobility in the broader APAC region.”

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed between the two operations to establish a framework for collaboration, as well as with the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) and other relevant Japanese Government agencies. This will include consideration of regulatory requirements, safety measures and how the community can benefit through the use of Wisk’s sixth generation self-flying, electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

Specifically, the MOU establishes a framework for research toward launching fleet operations for Wisk’s sixth generation air taxi, including: Type certification approval in Japan and maintenance, repair and overhaul requirements. The MOU also focuses on supporting discussion with the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) and relevant Japanese Government agencies, as appropriate, on the establishment of a Wisk operation under an Air Operators Certificate in Japan in the future; development of a path to a demonstration flight in Japan; and the introduction of autonomous aircraft into the Japanese national airspace system


“Japan represents a large, densely populated market where air taxi services can provide real, positive impact for local communities,” said Catherine MacGowan, Wisk’s APAC Regional Director. “We look forward to further pursuing the potential introduction of our self-flying, all-electric air taxis in Japan, and are encouraged by the growing interest within the broader APAC region for these types of services.”


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