Drone Express is working with the FAA towards our Part 135 Air Carrier and Operator Certificate with our partner, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a lead participant in the BEYOND program.
AIR CARRIER AND OPERATOR CERTIFICATE – 14 CRF PART 135
Drone Express is one of a handful of companies actively pursuing a Part 135 Certificate for drone package delivery. Part 135 certification is the only path for small drones to carry the property of another for compensation beyond visual line of sight.
Applicants must use the FAA’s existing Part 135 certification process, some of which the FAA has adapted for drone operations by granting exemptions for rules that don’t apply to drones, such as the requirement to carry the flight manuals on board the aircraft.
The FAA issued the first Part 135 Single pilot air carrier certificate for drone operations to Wing Aviation, LLC in April 2019. The FAA issued Wing a Standard Part 135 air carrier certificate to operate a drone in October 2019. Wing Aviation is part of the Integration Pilot Program (IPP), delivering food and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals directly to homes in Christianburg, VA. UPS Flight Forward, Inc., another participant in the IPP, was the first company to receive a Standard Part 135 air carrier certificate to operate a drone aircraft. On September 27, 2019, UPS Flight Forward conducted its first package delivery by drone with its Part 135 Certification when it flew medical supplies at WakeMed’s hospital campus in Raleigh, NC. On August 31, 2020, the FAA approved an exemption allowing Amazon’s Prime Air to move forward with operations while working towards formal certification of the MK27 UA aircraft and the airline operations. The approval comes with significant limits but allows the company to continue the development of the platform and supports progress toward the necessary certifications. To learn more, click here.
UAS INTEGRATED PILOT PROGRAM (IPP) -> BEYOND
Drone Express joined the UAS IPP through the lead participant, The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Beginning in 2017, the UAS IPP has brought state, local, and tribal governments together with private sector entities, such as UAS operators or manufacturers, to test and evaluate the integration of civil and public drone operations into our national airspace system. The program, which has now been completed, helped the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the FAA craft new rules that support more complex low-altitude operations. Drone Express is now part of the IPP replacement known as BEYOND. Click here to learn about our incredible partner – The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
TYPE CERTIFICATION – 14 CFR 21.17(B)
Drone Express performs operations with the TELEGRID Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) model DE-2020, which is currently undergoing Type Certification. Type Certification is the approval of the design of the aircraft and all the components, including propellers, motors, and Ground Control Stations (GCS). The design complies with applicable airworthiness, noise, and other FAA standards. The Means of Compliance (MOC) are through Durability and Reliability (D&R) Flight Testing which observes the UAS performance over several flight hours. The Type Certification is managed by the FAA Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), the main UAS-type certification ACO.
In addition to the D&R flight testing is a thorough mechanic design review, including generating a Master Drawing List, detailed assembly instructions, and critical part designation. Part supplies and country of origin are also analyzed to ensure the Type Design is complete and capable of production.
TELEGRID DE-2020 UAS IN FIRST ROUND OF UAS AIRWORTHINESS CRITERIA APPROVALS BY THE FAA! FEDERAL REGISTER 11/19/20
PRODUCTION CERTIFICATE – 14 CFR 21-43
The TELEGRID DE-2020 is also completing a Production Certificate which is the approval to manufacture duplicate products under an FAA-approved type design. The Production Certificate signifies that an organization and its personnel, facilities, and quality system can produce a product or article that conforms to its approved design. TELEGRID works with the FAA Manufacturing Inspection District Office (MIDO) office in Vandalia, OH, and the LAACO.