Hogan Lovells advises Airobotics in securing first-of-its-kind FAA type certification for scalable drone operations

Hogan Lovells advises Airobotics in securing first-of-its-kind FAA type certification for scalable drone operations

Press releases | 14 September 2023

Washington, D.C., 14 September 2023 – Global law firm Hogan Lovells advised leading commercial drone manufacturer Airobotics in securing Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Type Certification for its Optimus-1EX system, paving the way for a permanent drone infrastructure to provide “Smart City” solutions, enhance public safety, enable Drone as a First Responder (DFR) capabilities, and provide various commercial and industrial aerial data services. The first-of-its-kind certification for a non-air carrier operation was achieved after four years of intensive engineering and agency review processes. Read more here.

The certification signifies not only compliance with the FAA’s airworthiness and noise standards, ensuring safe operation within the National Airspace System (NAS), but also allows for the future scaling of Airobotics’ commercial drone operations. The company plans to leverage their experience internationally in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, where the Optimus system is currently deployed, along with the newly type certificated drone, to conduct similar “Smart City” and public safety operations in urban environments across the U.S. By obtaining type certification, Airobotics offers local governments and commercial entities a revolutionary solution to streamline aerial data capture using a safe and certified airworthy drone infrastructure.

Lisa Ellman, Partner and Chair of Hogan Lovells’ Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) practice, said: “We are proud to have worked with Airobotics to achieve FAA certification for its innovative drone fleet infrastructure, which we are confident will enhance public safety and advance innovation.  Drones have incredible societal benefits, and approvals like that issued to Airobotics are an important step to enable the industry to scale here in the United States.”

Niv Russo, Airobotics’ Vice President of Aviation and Regulatory, said “We are proud that our Optimus-1EX has met the rigorous standards of the FAA’s certification processes, and we look forward to scaling our operations in the United States. We are grateful for Hogan Lovells’ continued support in the UAS regulatory process.” 

In addition to Ellman, Hogan Lovells senior associate Matt Clark (Washington, D.C.) served on Airobotics’ legal team.

About Ondas Holdings Inc

Ondas Holdings Inc. ("Ondas") is a leading provider of private wireless data solutions via Ondas Networks Inc. ("Ondas Networks") and commercial drone solutions through American Robotics, Inc. ("American Robotics" or "AR") and Airobotics LTD ("Airobotics"), which we operate as a separate business unit called Ondas Autonomous Systems. Ondas Networks is a developer of proprietary, software-based wireless broadband technology for large established and emerging commercial and government markets. Ondas Networks' standards-based (802.16s), multi-patented, software-defined radio FullMAX platform enables Mission-Critical IoT (MC-IoT) applications by overcoming the bandwidth limitations of today's legacy private licensed wireless networks. Ondas Networks' customer end markets include railroads, utilities, oil and gas, transportation, aviation (including drone operators) and government entities whose demands span a wide range of mission critical applications.

Our Ondas Autonomous Systems business unit designs, develops, and markets commercial drone solutions via the Optimus System™, and the IronDrone Raider™ (the "Autonomous Drone Platforms"). The Autonomous Drone Platforms are highly automated, AI-powered drone systems capable of continuous, remote operation and are marketed as "drone-in-a-box" turnkey data solution services. They are deployed for critical industrial and government applications where data and information collection and processing are required. The Autonomous Drone Platforms are typically provided to customers under a Robot-as-a-Service (RAAS) business model. American Robotics and Airobotics have industry leading regulatory successes which include having the first drone system approved by the FAA for automated operation beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) without a human operator on-site.

Ondas Networks, American Robotics and Airobotics together provide users in oil & gas, rail, mining, agriculture, public safety and other critical infrastructure and government markets with improved connectivity and data collection and information processing capabilities.