In recent news, UPS has announced that it has received the US government’s approval to operate a drone delivery service. UPS states that they won’t be sending out packages to its customers yet, as they will use their new drone approval to build a drone fleet to deliver packages to hospitals around the US. In the statement released by UPS, the company said that they have been trying to gain the government’s approval since the beginning of July.
UPS’s new delivery service is called, UPS Flight Forward and was granted an operating certification through the FAA. Even though drones aren’t particularly planes, the FAA still treats them as such and the federal government evaluates these drones with similar expectations and guidelines. Through the certification granted by the FAA, UPS is allowed to fly its drones with these specific exemptions:
- UPS can fly as many drones as they want
- UPS can let their drones fly beyond their pilot’s line of sight
- UPS can load their drones with more than 55 pounds of packages
- UPS can fly their drones at night
UPS is the first company to be granted this level of clearance from the FAA and federal government. Currently, other companies that are working on drone delivery but haven’t been approved yet are Amazon and Uber Eats.
In my opinion, I think this is a great thing for UPS and their development of this service will truly benefit everyone. If UPS puts a lot of effort into this service and develops it to its fullest potential, the delivery system we currently have in the United States could drastically change. It would affect how fast people get packages and mail, how individuals order food and items off the internet, and would truly disrupt the current system we have in place. Do I think that this will completely flip our current delivery system upside down? No, however it is cool to think of what the possibilities could be.