UPS Attains FAA’s First Certification for Drone Airline

New England Council member UPS and its subsidiary UPS Flight Forward have become the first company to receive approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate a drone airline. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, UPS has served over 220 countries and territories worldwide for several decades.

The company first began utilizing drone technology on WakeMed Hospital’s campus in Raleigh, NC, to make regular revenue-generating medical sample deliveries. The pilot project proved to be a success, both significantly reducing transit times and improving the patient experience. UPS is aiming to expand their drone delivery services to many more hospital campuses around the country, as well as generate solutions for customers beyond the medical industry. The FAA’s certification does not place limits on the scope of operations, allowing UPS the opportunity to grow and meet consumers’ future needs. UPS Flight Forward can now fly an unlimited number of drones with a “flight path beyond the operators’ visual line of sight.”

“This is history in the making, and we aren’t done yet,” said David Abney, UPS Chief Executive Officer. “Our technology is opening doors for UPS and solving problems in unique ways for our customers. We will soon announce other steps to build out our infrastructure, expand services for healthcare customers and put drones to new uses in the future.”

The Council congratulates UPS on this historic achievement and wishes them continued success.

Read the FAA’s press release here. Read more in the Press Herald.

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