Joby Aviation names former FAA administrator as director

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A Joby Aviation Air Taxi is seen outside of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of their listing in Manhattan, New York City

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Joby Aviation, which is developing electrical aircraft to operate as air taxis, on Friday named former Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) head Michael Huerta to its board of directors.

Joby is pushing to win FAA certification for its vertical take-off and landing aircraft ahead of starting planned commercial passenger service in 2025.

Joby Executive Chairman Paul Sciarra said 2023 will be a "pivotal" year for "making real progress" in that process, and that Huerta will be "bringing perspective" to that work.

Huerta served as FAA administrator from 2013 to 2018 after three years as deputy administrator. In 2018 he joined the board of Delta Air Lines which has invested $60 million in Joby for a 2% equity stake.

Joby CEO JoeBen Bevirt said Huerta's seat on both boards "will be invaluable as we prepare for commercial operations."

The FAA in November issued airworthiness criteria for Joby to certify its Model JAS4-1 aircraft. The agency is also working to finalize special regulations on commercial operations and training for such aircraft.

Bevirt said that if the FAA publishes its proposed rules for public comment in June, he expects them to be implemented by the end of 2024.

(Reporting by Valerie Insinna and David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Richard Chang)