Californian eVTOL Maker Gearing Up for Air Taxi Services Across Japan

The Joby air taxi will soon start operating in Tokyo 9 photos
Photo: Joby Aviation
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All eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) makers worldwide aim for the international market as long as they can successfully obtain certifications for their air vehicles in each country. Joby Aviation is currently focusing on its connection to Japan.
Joby Aviation is headquartered in California but has established multiple partnerships in different parts of the world. It looks like one of the most important future markets for Joby's electric aircraft is Japan. The manufacturer teamed up with Japan's largest airline group, ANA HD, last year and is currently expanding that partnership.

The newest industry player to join this collaboration is Nomura Real Estate Development (NRE), a reputable real estate developer that will provide expertise related to infrastructure requirements. That's because the three are planning to set up a dedicated vertiport network in preparation for upcoming air taxi operations.

Like most AAM (Advanced Air Mobility) projects, this will primarily focus on an important metropolitan area – in this case, Tokyo. Tokyo will become the launch spot for electric air taxi services. Over time, the vertiport network will be expanded to other urban areas across Japan.

Tokyo Bay will also house one of the most interesting and innovative AAM structures in the form of a floating landing port. This particular vertiport is part of the Tokyo Bay eSG Project, which is funded by Tokyo's local government. NRE, Joby's latest partner in Japan, is the one leading this program, and Joby was recently named technical advisor.

Like similar infrastructure projects, this collaboration between the three partners will look at all aspects related to vertiport development, including financing.

Once Joby obtains the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) certification, it plans to validate it with the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB), which will allow the legal sale and operation of its aircraft in Japan.

Joby is one of the top air mobility companies in the US. It recently completed what it claims to be the first eVTOL flight in New York City, and its electric aircraft will also become the first eVTOL stationed at a US Air Force base starting in 2024.

The eVTOL maker is also working hard to expand its production capacity. It currently operates a manufacturing facility in Marina, California, with offices in San Carlos and Santa Cruz. While its headquarters and R&C center will stay in California, Joby plans to build a large-scale manufacturing facility in Dayton, Ohio. The factory will be located close to the Dayton International Airport and unfold over 2 million square feet (185,800 square meters).

Joby's new production facility should be ready to operate by 2025 when it will start rolling out up to 500 aircraft per year.

The Joby air taxi is a five-person (pilot included) all-electric aircraft with a 100-mile (161 km) range and proven lower noise levels compared to conventional helicopters.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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