Matternet M2 first delivery drone to receive FAA design safety approval

Matternet’s M2 drone delivery system has achieved type certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. This is the first time the FAA has approved the design of a drone specifically for package delivery. Until this point, all other drones that have received type certification from the FAA were built for military applications.

The type certification is the culmination of four years of rigorous evaluation by the FAA, which ultimately proved the M2 drone to be safe and reliable.

“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 Matternet Founder and CEO Andreas Raptopoulos. “Drone delivery will revolutionize healthcare and e-commerce in the U.S. We’ve been at the forefront of this revolution since launching U.S. operations in 2019—we are now ready for scale.”

Air carriers operate on licenses such as Part 135, on-demand transportation. As part of the FAA’s evaluation of the M2 and several other drones for type certification, over the past four years these drones have been operating under Part 135 using an exemption.

The evaluation process imposes stringent requirements on the design of an aircraft, how it’s documented, and how it’s tested across a wide range of conditions and over thousands of flights. That process proved that the M2 drone is airworthy and eligible for commercial deliveries in the U.S.

Now that Matternet has type certification, implementing new networks and getting approvals will be a more streamlined and predictable regulatory process.

“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, the company’s vice president of regulatory strategy. “Matternet would like to thank the FAA, as well as our advisors at End State Solutions.”

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