Joby’s pilot academy will help solve the workforce challenges associated with the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) sector while bringing down the high costs of training, said Bonny Simi, the company’s head of air operations and people.

The California-based electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft developer intends to both manufacture and operate its aircraft, requiring the company to train a new generation of pilots.

Joby pilot academy

Speaking at the Royal Aeronautical Society’s President’s Summit 2023: Future of Flight in London, Simi said the programme would consist of a Type Rating lasting six weeks, which can be completed at the end of a conventional commercial pilot training pathway.

Joby is also expecting to run an ab-initio pilot training programme for those who have no prior flying experience.

Joby has partnered with CAE, a global leader in aviation training, to develop and qualify flight simulation training devices that will be used to train future pilots.

Used to simulate aircraft flight in various environments and conditions, flight simulators are an integral part of readying pilots to fly a new type of aircraft.

AAM tipping point

Commenting further on the training programme, Simi said that Joby’s pilot academy would “reduce the cost of training” while having the benefit of being custom-designed to ensure both pilot and engineering teams were trained to operate and maintain the new breed of eVTOL aircraft.

She said many pilots would consider flying for Joby over a traditional mainline airline since the company would offer pilots a reliable schedule that allows them to be home every evening, “a luxury not available to most professional pilots”.

Simi added that the AAM industry was now at a “tipping point” with battery density at a point where eVTOL aircraft can safely transport four passengers and a pilot, and noise reduced to a level comparable to “wind in the trees”.
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