The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted Airobotics’ Optimus-1EX uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) a Type Certificate that will streamline operational approvals for broad flight operations over people and infrastructure. The certification verifies the compliance of the system’s design with the required FAA airworthiness and noise standards, ensuring safe operation within the National Airspace System (NAS), thereby significantly broadening the range of operational scenarios and scaling up operations for automated Uncrewed Aircraft (UAs), says the press release.
The first-of-its-kind certification for a non-air carrier UAS was achieved after four years of the FAA’s intensive engineering and operational review processes. The Optimus System is already operating regularly in urban environments in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Ondas plans to leverage its experience in the UAE and its newly type-certificated vehicle to conduct similar operations in urban environments across the US, aligning with the company’s vision of deploying fleets of Optimus Systems as a permanent drone infrastructure. This infrastructure aims to provide Smart City solutions, enhance public safety, enable Drones as a First Responder (DFR) capabilities, and offer various commercial and industrial aerial data services.
The certification process ensures that aircraft and components meet specific airworthiness standards the regulatory authority sets. The FAA initially began working with leading commercial drone manufacturers, including Airobotics, on the type certification process in 2019. Airobotics, focused on data capturing in urban environments, is the first non-air carrier vehicle to achieve it among numerous companies pursuing UAS-type certification with the FAA, says the company.
“The FAA evaluated the Optimus System through comprehensive flight testing, conformity inspections, design reviews, and the submission of detailed documentation and manuals,” said Niv Russo, Airobotics’ VP of Aviation & Regulation. “We have completed this pioneering process, which was previously unavailable for uncrewed aircraft, in collaboration with a dedicated FAA team. I wish to extend our appreciation and gratitude to the skilled FAA professionals whose contributions have significantly enriched our journey of growth and learning.”
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