The Matternet M2 has become the first non-military unmanned aircraft system (UAS/drone) to earn its FAA type certificate. In an announcement on Wednesday, drone delivery system developer Matternet stated that the M2 underwent four years of evaluation by the FAA prior to certification. The company noted that the M2, along with several other drone models, has been used in the U.S. for Part 135 on-demand air carrier operations under an exemption while being evaluated.
“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, Matternet vice president of regulatory strategy. “Matternet would like to thank the FAA, as well as our advisors at End State Solutions.”
The Matternet M2 is designed to carry payloads of up to 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) and 4 liters over distances of up to 20 kilometers (12.5 miles). The company partnered with UPS to launch the first revenue drone delivery operations in the U.S. in 2019. As previously reported by AVweb, the FAA published airworthiness criteria for the proposed certification of ten unmanned aircraft systems (UAS/drone) models, including Matternet’s M2, in 2020.