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UPS receives FAA approval for drone deliveries in the US

UPS has received FAA approval for drone deliveries in the US through a Part 135 certification. The logistics company is now allowed to fly drones carrying more than 55 lbs, fly drones at night, and fly them beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS).

UPS receives FAA approval for drone deliveries

According to UPS, the “certification has no limits on the size or scope of operations.” However, don’t expect the logistics giant to start delivering your packages by drone in the immediate future. UPS will first start expanding its drone deliveries on hospital campuses around the country.

UPS is the first company to receive such a high-level certification for drones. Gizmodo reports that the Federal Aviation Administration “approved the first standard air carrier certification for drone operations to UPS.”

Since receiving the certification on September 27, UPS made its first official Part 135 drone delivery, flying medical supplies to the WakeMed hospital in Raleigh, NC.

UPS is planning to first increase drone deliveries to hospital campuses around the country before expanding to other areas and ultimately making deliveries to residential customers.

“When the (FAA) regulations are complete we certainly believe there are residential opportunities and other delivery opportunities that will help supplement the incredible group of drivers we have all over the world,” CEO David Abney told CNBC.

Currently, the FAA is working on six more Part 135 certification applications that were submitted under the UAS Integration Pilot Program.

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Avatar for Haye Kesteloo Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at DroneDJ, where he covers all drone related news and writes product reviews. He also contributes to the other sites in the 9to5Mac group such as; 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, 9to5Toys and Electrek. Haye can be reached at or @hayekesteloo