Director of Aircraft Certification at Zipline (San Francisco, CA)

| San Francisco
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About Zipline
Do you want to change the world? Zipline uses drones to deliver critical and lifesaving medicine to thousands of hospitals serving millions of people in multiple countries. Our mission is to provide every human on Earth with instant access to vital medical supplies. Join Zipline and help us make this a reality for billions of people.
About You and The Role

As the Director of Certification you will own Zipline’s Certification efforts. We are looking for a versatile technical leader, strong in both strategy and execution with proven success achieving and expanding aviation regulatory approvals in novel programs. Certification is a key enabler driving us forward to achieve our ambitious mission of providing every human on Earth with instant access to vital medical supplies.

What You'll Do  

You will serve as the hands on leader for not only getting Type Certifications, but also continuing to ensure expansion and compliance of our certifications over time in alignment with our mission objectives. In addition to being a primary technical interface with the FAA (and other international aviation certification authorities), you will also lead Zipline to achieve our cross-functional certification  objectives. Here are some examples of challenges you’ll tackle:

  • Setting and communicating program objectives and priorities.
  • Liaising with the relevant certification authorities (primarily the FAA) in order to establish certification basis and identify means of compliance, which you will then translate into requirements for the UAS and test plans to demonstrate that compliance where appropriate.
  • Developing, maintaining, and communicating the appropriate Regulatory Plan, ranging from when we will achieve a high level regulatory objective to specific document submission dates.
  • Ensuring critical cross-team efforts are well owned (including owning some yourself) such as driving to agreement with the FAA on adequate command and control performance as well as the internal plan to exceed it, resolving a critical safety issue, or ensuring compliance with a cross-cutting regulatory requirement.
  • Leading cross-functional regulatory milestone readiness reviews such as assuring the cross-functional teams are aligned and the program is ready to submit a major Type Certification amendment. 
  • Ensuring consistency and currency with the latest design in our regulated documents such as UAS Flight Manual (UFM), UAS Maintenance Manual (UMM), Critical Parts Lists, Concept of Operations, and more.
  • Collaborating closely with the global policy team to ensure policy initiatives align with aviation regulatory objectives.
  • Hire and lead a right-sized world-class certification team.
  • Providing clear updates at both working and executive level.
  • Creating and refining processes, templates, and tools for our regulatory deliverables and interfaces.
What You'll Bring 
  • You have led aviation programs to initial Type Certification, Production Certification, and/or amendments to these certifications.
  • You have the aviation experience to both help us see around corners with certification authorities such as the FAA and the credibility to present our positions to them with confidence.
  • You are excited about working with certification authorities to shape sensible and data driven regulations and UAS best practices.
  • You have the engineering background and experience to meaningfully engage with internal engineering teams as well as be the OEM technical lead to certification authorities.
  • You have worked in fast-paced, high-growth environments like startups.
  • You have the grit, resourcefulness, and resilience to thrive in novel, uncertain and constantly-changing business and regulatory environments.
What Else You Need to Know   
Zipline is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws or our own sensibilities.
We value diversity at Zipline and welcome applications from those who are traditionally underrepresented in tech. If you like the sound of this position but are not sure if you are the perfect fit, please apply!
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South San Francisco, CA 94080

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