Subsidiary named UPS Flight Forward Inc.
The new company will focus on developing and operating unmanned aerial systems for revenue-generating deliveries.
UPS Flight Forward is positioned to be the one of the first fully-certified U.S. drone operations.
UPS (NYSE:UPS) today said it has applied to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Part 135 certification to operate commercial drone flights in the UPS(R) network under a subsidiary business called UPS Flight Forward Inc.
The new subsidiary is a recently incorporated business that could receive Part 135 certification as early as this year, putting UPS on track to have one of the first fully certified revenue-generating drone operations in the United States. When approved, UPS Flight Forward will be positioned to be one of the first fully-certified U.S. drone operations to complete routine flights. This certification lays the foundation for drone flights beyond an operator's visual line of sight and forflights occurring day or night. Such flights are highly restricted in the United States and approved only by exception.
"UPS is committed to using technology to transform the way we do business," said Scott Price, UPS chief transformation and strategy officer. "UPS's 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."
In contrast to more-limited FAA certifications for drone flights for other companies, UPS Flight Forward would operate under the FAA's full Part 135 certification, which conveys a legal designation to a company as a certified Air Carrier and Operator.
Currently, UPS is operating drone healthcare deliveries under a specific use-case under FAA Part 107 rules. In March, UPS initiated the first FAA-sanctioned use of a drone for routine revenue flights involving the transport of a product under a contractual delivery agreement in the United States at WakeMed's flagship hospital and campus in the Raleigh, N.C. In this program, the company delivers medical samples via unmanned drones, supplementing a ground courier service. UPS has said it intends to expand its drone delivery service to other hospitals or campus settings.
UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company can be found on the web at ups.com or pressroom.ups.com and its corporate blog can be found at longitudes.ups.com. To get UPS news direct, follow @UPS_Asia on Twitter.