Australian aerial logistics and drone delivery company Swoop Aero is working with its national Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in a project aiming to harmonize and streamline the remotely piloted aircraft (RPAS) certification process of both countries.
The company said the objective of the effort is to structure approval systems and criteria used in those to match each other as closely as feasible. Increased similarity, it said, will allow drone manufacturers to undertake the certification process in multiple markets at once – especially if the underlying coordination logic is embraced by additional regulators. Such harmonization, Swoop Aero believes, which will help accelerate the number of approved craft operating drone services around the globe.
Central to its involvement in that US-Australian project is Swoop Aero’s cutting-edge automated delivery drone, Kite, which is well along the FAA’s certification path. The craft can transport maximum five kilo payloads over 180 km at top speeds of 200 km/h on a single charge. While in operation, the UAV provides real-time tracking, supply chain data, capture, and analytics functions.
While gaining both FAA and CASA certification of its Kite delivery drone will provide a major boost to the company’s activities – and add luster to its tech and safety reputation – its role in helping national regulators move toward similar systems could solidify its status as a leader in global UAV activity.
“Our world-first collaboration with the FAA and CASA means that Swoop Aero is setting the gold standard for the global aviation sector,” said Swoop Aero CEO Eric Peck. “We are working closely with the leading regulatory bodies globally to ensure the Swoop Aero technology-enabled platform meets the highest global safety standards and can scale up the service across every inch of the globe.”
Swoop Aero is also pursuing the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) design verification process for Kite to enable its use in drone deliveries for clients in Europe. Last month, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it will adopt the EASA’s criteria for certifying drone-based craft like air taxis – a move representing a separate step toward global harmonization. Back in March, the CAA and FAA got the ball rolling by announcing their joint project to support new aerial tech activities by, in part, “facilitating certification.”
Swoop Aero’s work alongside the FAA and CASA brings yet another regulator into that coordinated effort.
“CASA is excited to be working collaboratively on the joint type certification and production certification of this remotely piloted aircraft,” said CASA CEO Pip Spence. “This project promotes the safe growth and innovation of the RPAS sector and will help pave the way for future growth in the industry.”