BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Getting in your car and flying to your holiday destination could be a reality within years.

That’s according to AirCar whose prototype has been given an airworthiness certificate by the Slovak Transport Authority, in line with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards.

Overcoming the safety hurdle means the car, which doubles as a plane has now moved a step closer to reaching the market.

In the sky above the Slovakian capital Bratislava the AirCar stretches it’s wings. It’s wings are fully retractable and it currently has a 160HP BMW engine with fixed-propeller and a ballistic parachute.

The dual-mode car-aircraft has already ticked off a list of achievements: its done more than 70 hours of test flights, 200 take offs and landings and it’s completing steep 45 degree turns.

Now, Klein Vision the company which makes it says it has been given an airworthiness certificate by the Slovak Transport Authority, in line with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards.

Anton Zajac, co-founder and advisor of Klein Vision says  “Well, the certificate which has been achieved after 70 plus five hours and 200 takeoffs and landings. We have confirmed that the technology is built in compliance with all the safety regulations imposed by EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency).

Zajac says he and his business partner were inspired to create the AirCar because they longed for the open roads of yesteryear.

“You know, the cars used to be symbols, used to be a symbol of freedom. And if you have a driver’s license it to drive your car. You certainly know you lost that freedom because you are often stuck in traffic. Our goal is to return the freedom to back to those who have the pilot’s license and can drive a car and at the same time, they can take off and cover a distance of 1000 kilometres,” he says.

The current prototype has a range of 500 kilometres and it requires 28 litres of fuel.

A car-plane might still sound a bit futuristic, but Zajac is confident there is a ready market for the vehicle which is expected to cost around 6-700,000 dollars (US).

Zajac says there are many thousands of light aircraft who may be ready to take a leap with a flying car.

“There is an infrastructure for planes. You have twenty five thousand airports in the United States alone, there’s a dense network of small airports in Europe. There is one 10 kilometres from my house, and I’m flying across Europe often and you know, it’s I wish I had the flying car because I could land and not wait for a taxi, or go through congested terminals or wait for a limo or whatever.”

The company is already working on its next prototype which will have a range of 1000 kilometres (621 miles) and fly 300 kilometres per hour.

The new prototype will have to go through new air worthiness tests, but Zajac says it was still important the first prototype was given a clean bill of health.

He says the new car will have the same geometry as this one flying here, so passing the first test was necessary.

“It makes sense to save money and time, you know, what, if we had not received this product, this certificate, we would have to go back to the drawing board and create, you know, improvements. Now we know we have something that is accepted officially by the authorities.”

With the increased use of drones and scheduled airlines it’s argued by some that our skies will become crowded, but Zajac says the AirCar is more efficient.

“Imagine 300 helicopters flying over London, or New York that’d be a mess, you know? So although I believe vertical takeoff and landing vehicles will be part of the transportation systems and infrastructure, the flying cars are more energy efficient. So per mile of transportation, you need less energy than vertical takeoff and landing vehicles.”

Other companies are trying to increase the range of electric aircraft and a growing number of manufacturers are now producing electric cars, but Zajac believes it’ll be a long time before aviation can become electric.

He says: “If somebody comes up with a battery, which is a high enough density of energy per kilogram, we are happy to implement such an engine in our flying car. So it’s it’s a I’m sure somebody will come up with some improvements of the battery technology, but at this moment, unfortunately, the range would be too small.”