Responsible for leading the company’s certification efforts, Lawrence has a vision to make Xwing’s autonomous flight technology commercially available at scale

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Xwing, the company pioneering autonomy for aviation, today announces the addition of Earl Lawrence, outgoing Executive Director of Certification for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to its leadership team as Chief Compliance and Quality Officer.

Lawrence brings more than three decades of experience in the aviation industry to Xwing. Most recently, Lawrence served as the Executive Director of Aircraft Certification at the FAA, leading an organization of over 1,400 people that oversee all types of certification, production approval, airworthiness certification, and continued airworthiness of the U.S. civil aircraft fleet – including commercial and general aviation activities.

Throughout his career, Lawrence has consistently led the charge in bringing cutting-edge aviation technology to market. Before joining the FAA, Lawrence spent sixteen years at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), where his efforts helped create the Sport Pilot and Light Sport Aircraft categories – two brand new certification categories put forth by the FAA. Once these categories were successfully created, Lawrence helped establish the ASTM industry Consensus Standards Committee to manage the regulatory requirements for these aircraft certification categories.

Upon joining the FAA, Lawrence led the charge in rewriting Part 23 to promote forward-looking, flexible rules that are the basis for the dramatic increase in innovative aircraft programs and investments we see today. Following this accomplishment, Lawrence had the opportunity to make small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) a reality by helping to establish the first set of regulations for UAS and leading the creation of the Unmanned Aircraft Integration Office, which Xwing has been closely working with over the past few years.

“I was drawn to Xwing because of the company’s pragmatic approach that integrates existing and trusted aircraft with breakthrough autonomous technology,” says Earl Lawrence, joining Xwing as Chief Compliance and Quality Officer. “This approach is not only unique but viable as it enables the efficient creation of autonomous aircraft without requiring manufacturers to reinvent the wheel.”

As Xwing continues to scale, the company’s priority remains in obtaining the necessary certifications to bring its technology to the commercial airspace. After spending more than a decade approving companies for these exact certifications at the FAA, Lawrence will play a critical role in helping Xwing bring its autonomous flight software to market safely and efficiently.

“What’s remarkable about Earl is his drive and record of accomplishments in moving our industry forward by advancing our regulatory landscape. It’s been true for new classes of aircraft, a once-in-a-generation revamp of small aircraft certification (Part 23) or the establishment of the UAS integration office,” says Marc Piette, CEO of Xwing. “As one of the world’s foremost experts on aircraft certifications, manned and unmanned, Earl will play a critical role in helping us create a safer, more accessible, and efficient future of flight.”

Lawrence’s addition to Xwing comes on the heels of significant milestones and strategic partnerships for the company, including its recent recognition on Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas list 2022 for its autonomous gate-to-gate flight technology.


About Xwing

Xwing is the first company to introduce autonomous technology for regional air cargo. With the goal of meeting growing unmet logistics demand, Xwing’s human-operated software stack seamlessly integrates with existing aircraft to enable regional pilotless flight. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, CA. To learn more, please visit For media inquiries, email


Kayla Abbassi

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