UPS is expanding its service into the air.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) just gave approval to UPS Flight Forward Inc. to operate an entire drone airline.
The FAA’s Part 135 Standard certification, the highest level of certification and first to be awarded, places no limits on the size or scope of operation, allowing UPS to fly an unlimited number of drones with an unlimited number of remote operations.
The certificate also permits the drone and cargo to exceed 55 pounds and fly at night.
“This is history in the making, and we aren’t done yet,” stated David Abney, UPS CEO. “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.”
UPS Flight Forward plans to use drones to transport various items for different industries and fly drones beyond the operator’s visual line of sight, according to UPS.
The company will initially expand its drone service to support hospital campuses and to extend the services beyond healthcare.
UPS earlier partnered with the drone-maker Matternet for a healthcare service on the WakeMed campus.
Walgreens recently announced the launch of a pilot door-to-door delivery of products by drone in a partnership with Wing Aviation, an Alphabet company.
The world of drones is growing up.