How Flying Cars’ Regulation Impacts Aircraft Innovators

The Terrafugia Transition, a flying car built by the firm Terrafugia, has earned an exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration to be classified as a “light sport aircraft.”

According to Jacob Bogage at The Washington Post, the FAA created this classification in 2004 to allow airplane makers to design personal aircraft without the longer and more expensive regulations used for heavier general aviation. However, the approval of this vehicle in the design and experimentation stage shows the obstructionism and precautionary bureaucracy that plagues innovation in experimental arenas such as the flying car space.

Bogage quotes Paul Moller, president and CEO of the competing aviation firm Moller International as saying “we’ve worked with the FAA, and you’re going to have your bureaucrats and people who don’t want anything to change, but other people can see the future.”

As innovators compete to construct viable, safe aircraft that are also roadworthy, governmental regulators should allow for innovators to test their designs and bring them to market without undue burdens that only serve to slow innovation and undermine the safety tests companies are already incentivized to conduct.

More Blog Posts

04-01-2021 07:38am

Order and chaos: Embracing an emergent order mindset

We are surrounded by order that occurs without design or control on all sides. Yet we rarely think about this order.

Read more

03-24-2021 08:16am

Supporting the emerging generation of tech leaders

An employer and associate perspective from the Emerging Tech Policy Leaders Program, which received 90 applications for its first cohort.

Read more

03-18-2021 08:42am

Where should K-12 go next?

We ask two of our partners in K-12 education to tell us what they’ve learned in the last year, and what they think should happen next.   

Read more

Sign up for updates