ABOVE: The Velis Electro is the world’s first (and currently only) EASA-certified electric aircraft

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted a light sport aircraft (LSA) airworthiness exemption for the Pipistrel Velis Electro, allowing US flight schools to offer training on the first commercially-available, type certified electric aircraft.

“With this exemption, the cost-barrier to pursuing primary flight training can be substantially reduced,” explained Kriya Shortt, president and CEO of Textron’s eAviation segment. Gabriel Massey, president and managing director at Pipistrel, added that the “FAA exemption is an important milestone on the journey to sustainable flight”.

The relief for a Petition for Exemption to 14 CFR Part 21.190 (Issue of a special airworthiness certificate for a light-sport category aircraft) ‘reflects the FAA’s commitment to safely integrate new technologies into the National Airspace System,’ notes Pipistrel.