- Title: UPS gets U.S. government okay for drone airline
- Date: 2nd October 2019
- Summary: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF UPS TRUCKS VARIOUS OF UPS PACKAGES
- Embargoed: 16th October 2019 12:34
- Keywords: Federal Aviation Administration UPS Amazon United Parcel Service drones drone airline
- Location: NEAR MARBLEHEAD, MASSACHUSETTS, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK AND WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES / BOVES, FRANCE
- City: NEAR MARBLEHEAD, MASSACHUSETTS, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK AND WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES / BOVES, FRANCE
- Country: Various
- Topics: Company News Markets,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA002AZENTSD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:United Parcel Service Inc on Tuesday (October 1) said it won the U.S. government's first full approval to operate a drone airline, which gave it a lead in the nascent U.S. drone delivery business over rivals Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted UPS' Flight Forward drone subsidiary a Part 135 Standard certification on Friday (September 27). The company said the certificate allows it to expand its delivery service in campus settings such as hospitals and universities, but added that residential deliveries are years away.
The certification allows UPS pilots to fly drones beyond their line of sight and opens the door for the delivery company to expand Flight Forward.
The fledgling unit is immediately doubling the number of drone flights it does for its flagship customer, Raleigh, North Carolina's WakeMed Health & Hospitals.
UPS said its latest certification clears the way for Flight Forward to add other campus delivery projects without seeking government approvals for each one.
Under the new FAA approval, UPS Flight Forward pilots may now operate multiple drones under one certificate.
Earlier this year, Alphabet's Wing, the sister unit of search engine Google, was the first company to get U.S. air carrier certification for a single-pilot drone operation. It is testing home deliveries in a rural area around Blacksburg, Virginia.
Amazon, known for its splashy drone delivery tests, also has won experimental certifications to test its drones.
The FAA is writing rules for drone operations, including guidelines for sharing airspace with passenger planes and flying over populated areas.
(Production: Eleanor Whalley)
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