Matternet, a developer of urban drone delivery systems, announced that the Matternet M2 drone has achieved Type Certification by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). As the first non-military unmanned aircraft to achieve Type Certification in the US, Matternet has a strong competitive advantage in the drone delivery market. The completion of the four-year rigorous evaluation by the FAA proves the safety and reliability of the M2 aircraft, a key step in scaling US commercial drone operations.
“We are incredibly proud that Matternet M2 has met the very rigorous safety standards of the FAA and is the first drone delivery system to be Type Certified in the United States,” said Andreas Raptopoulos, founder and CEO of Matternet. “Drone delivery will revolutionize healthcare and e-commerce in the US. We’ve been at the forefront of this revolution since launching US operations in 2019 — we are now ready for scale.”
For the last four years, a select number of UAS, including the Matternet M2, have been operating under Part 135, the FAA framework for revenue on-demand air carrier operations, using an exemption while the systems are evaluated. With a Type Certification, implementing new networks and getting approvals will be a more streamlined and predictable regulatory process. Additionally, air carrier operating licenses such as Part 135 on-demand transportation can only use Type Certified aircraft.
“This is a victory for not only Matternet, but for the whole UAS industry as it indicates a maturing of the industry and a shift away from exemptions and waivers towards more standard regulation,” said Jim O’Sullivan, vice president of regulatory strategy for Matternet. “Matternet would like to thank the FAA, as well as our advisors at End State Solutions.”
The evaluation process imposes stringent requirements on the design of the aircraft, how it’s documented, and how it’s tested across a wide range of conditions and over thousands of flights. As a result, it was proven that the M2 drone is airworthy and eligible for commercial delivery operations in the US.