UPS has created a new drone delivery subsidiary called UPS Flight Forward. It has applied to the US Federal Aviation Administration for Part 135 certification that would allow it to expand its commercial drone flight operations.
Currently UPS operates under the restrictions of Part 107 certification. The company made its first commercial drone delivery in March, delivering medical samples.
Part 135 approval would legally certify Flight Forward as an air carrier, allowing UPS to apply for drone flight operations at night and beyond the operators’ line of sight, as well as removing the limit to the number of drones and operators in action.
According to Scott Price, UPS’ chief transformation and strategy officer, the new certification would enable faster scaling for the development of drone operations and make it one of the first fully certified revenue-generating drone operations in the US. An estimated $50 million could be saved by shaving just one mile off delivery drive routes using the drones.
“UPS is committed to using technology to transform the way we do business,” said Price. “UPS’ formation of a drone delivery company and application to begin regular operations under this level of certification is historic for UPS and for the drone and logistics industries overall.”
Google’s parent company Alphabet received Part 135 certification in April for its subsidiary, Wing, allowing it to begin commercial flights.
Source: Venture Beat