Earl Lawrence is the Chief Compliance and Quality Officer at Xwing, where he leads all aspects of Xwing’s certification efforts.
Prior to Xwing, Lawrence spent nearly 12 years at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) where he held several leadership positions until his retirement in 2022. Known primarily for his role as the FAA’s Executive Director of Aircraft Certification, Lawrence oversaw an organization of over 1,400 employees working across FAA Headquarters, 35 U.S. field offices, and 2 international offices. Before his work in aircraft certification, Lawrence was the Executive Director of the UAS Integration Office, responsible for the facilitation of all regulations, policies and procedures required to support the safe integration of uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System. Lawrence played a fundamental role in establishing, leading, and operationalizing the new UAS organization. As the FAA’s Small Airplane Directorate Manager, Lawrence managed airworthiness standards, continued operational safety, policy and guidance for small aircraft, gliders, light sport aircraft, airships, and balloons. This work included the rewriting of Part 23 and the acceptance of industry consensus standards for small aircraft certification.
Before joining the FAA, Lawrence was the Vice President of Industry and Regulatory Affairs for the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Lawrence got his start in aviation working for Rockwell Rocketdyne as a rocket engine mechanic first, then later, as a manufacturing engineer on the International Space Station.
Lawrence is a graduate of Northrop University, with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering Technology. A pilot since 1987, Lawrence holds a commercial multi-engine pilot certificate as well as an airframe and powerplant mechanic certificate with an Inspection Authorization. He currently owns and flies a Piper Twin Comanche.