Matternet announced that it has been granted a Production Certificate by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its Matternet M2 drone. This follows the announcement earlier this year that the M2 aircraft achieved FAA standard Type Certification, a first of its kind for an unmanned aircraft.
The Production Certificate acknowledges that Matternet has established a quality management and manufacturing capability to produce aircraft that conform to the approved Type Design. This will enable Matternet to manufacture, test and issue airworthiness certificates for M2 drones moving forward. The Matternet M2 drone will be produced at the company’s Mountain View, California facility.
“Receiving an FAA Production Certificate is yet another milestone establishing Matternet as the first – and currently only – company able to produce certified delivery drone systems in the United States,” said Andreas Raptopoulos, founder and CEO of Matternet. “The aircraft produced under this Certificate will be the very ones that lead a transformation of how we deliver time-sensitive materials, especially in critical industries like health care.”
Matternet is currently focused on expanding its U.S. operations, especially within the health sector where unmanned delivery can be a significant solution to challenges faced by health systems increasingly stretched thin and facing demands for new efficiencies. For instance, the Matternet drone delivery system can enable the fast, on-demand and routine delivery of biological lab samples to offsite testing facilities. This helps ensure that health care professionals and patients get answers more quickly all while creating more efficient processing of laboratory tests – which are often unevenly distributed and burden costlier, overnight lab staff with high-volume tests.
For the past four years, Matternet has also been among a select group of companies providing the aircraft and support technology for on-demand air carrier operations under an exemption granted under the FAA’s Part 135 framework for revenue on-demand air carrier operations. This allowed carriers to operate drone networks while these systems were evaluated. Now with both Type Certification and a Production Certificate, Matternet is the first company in the U.S. with an approved and in-production aircraft that has been deemed airworthy and eligible for commercial delivery operations.
Matternet expects that its first M2 drones produced under this Production Certificate will enter service beginning December 2022.