FAA Authorizes UPS to Operate Drone Fleet for Package Delivery

Jeff Brody

UPS (NYSE: UPS) became the first company to secure an air carrier certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration to transport packages by drone.

The logistics provider's UPS Flight Forward subsidiary performed its first drone delivery service with Part 135 Standard certification to transport medical supplies at a WakeMed campus in North Carolina, FAA Tuesday.

In a separate announcement, UPS noted it flew a Matternet-built M2 quadcopter under a government exemption that allows for beyond line of sight flights.

"The Flight Forward organization is building a full-scale drone operation based on the rigorous reliability, safety and control requirements of the FAA,” said UPS CEO David Abney.

FAA’s Part 135 Standard also permits the company to fly a drone and cargo with more than 55 pounds of capacity event at nighttime.

The agency works with private and public sector organizations in efforts to shape rules and regulations that will govern the integration of unmanned aircraft systems into national airspace.  

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