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Merlin Labs Receives Certification Basis For Autonomous Flight System

Civil Aviation Authority Of New Zealand Accepts Merlin's Certification Plans

Merlin Labs shares that the certification basis for its takeoff to touchdown autonomy system has been approved by the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand in collaboration with the FAA.

Merlin is now the first company to reach an agreement on an approach for the certification of aircraft autonomy, according to a media release. Following a crawl, walk, run approach, this system incorporates an onboard safety pilot who will continue to act as legal pilot in command.

"We're thrilled to become the first company to receive a certification basis for a takeoff-to-touchdown flight system," said Shaun Johnson, CEO Merlin NZ. "The CAA's decision clearly puts Merlin ahead of any other company in the world in bringing full autonomy to the skies."

The company is thrilled to have the confidence of the CAA with them moving forward.

Cindy Comer, Vice President of Certification and Quality at Merlin Labs, shares her remarks on the latest developments.

"We believe it's essential to engage early and often with regulators," Comer said. "We've spent a lot of time with the CAA and FAA to make them aware of how we're developing our system and tackling various challenges. Especially with a first-of-its kind technology like ours, we appreciate the need to make this a collaborative process that ultimately optimizes aviation safety."

The company notes that they are expecting to see autonomous flights that can take off, navigate, land, and communicate with air traffic control as soon as 2023.

"We still have a lot of work ahead, but we also have the talent across our certification, engineering, design, R&D, and flight test teams to get us past unexpected hurdles and, one day, achieve full flight autonomy," said Matthew George, Merlin Co-Founder and CEO.



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