One pilot for 20 delivery drones? Matternet begins tests with waiver
California-based drone delivery company Matternet says it has received a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that allows it to operate up to 20 aircraft with one remote pilot.
The waiver, which allows the aircraft to fly beyond the sight of the remote pilot, is valid only at Matternet’s test site in Pittsburg, California. It also requires a visual observer to ensure the airspace is clear of any obstacles.
The 20:1 test waiver comes on the heels of Matternet’s recent FAA Type and Production certifications. But while those certifications were hardware focused, this new waiver is a direct testament to the company’s software and autonomous capabilities.
Andreas Raptopoulos, founder and CEO of Matternet, tells DroneDJ:
The FAA granted the 20:1 waiver based on our extensive data collection and analysis which proved it can be done safely. Since we applied for our initial multiple-aircraft waiver (3:1 ratio) two years ago, we’ve…