UPS announced it is now certified to operate a drone airline, the first company to receive such government certification.
The shipping carrier has been concentrating its drone efforts in healthcare in particular, and on Tuesday said it would initially expand its drone delivery service to support hospital campuses around the country.
It’s not clear how long it will be before UPS is delivering ecommerce packages to customers, or how that would work. UPS said its drone subsidiary, UPS Flight Forward, plans to transport a variety of items for customers in many industries.
“UPS Flight Forward’s certificate permits the company to fly an unlimited number of drones with an unlimited number of remote operators in command. This enables UPS to scale its operations to meet customer demand. Part 135 Standard also permits the drone and cargo to exceed 55 pounds and fly at night, previous restrictions governing earlier UPS flights.”
UPD CEO David Abney said, “This is history in the making, and we aren’t done yet. 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.”
You can find more details in the UPS press release.