FAA authorizes UPS drone operations for parcels
“This permit will avoid the need for expensive observers to monitor the airspace.”
The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the operation of the Matternet M2 drone for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) package delivery.
The company benefiting from this permit is UPS Flight Forward (UPSFF), a wholly owned subsidiary of UPS (United Parcel Service) and partner of Matternet, which is the developer of this urban delivery system.
UPSFF will then be able to fly the Matternet M2 drone without the need for expensive observers to monitor the airspace, as it will be able to install a ground-based radar to scan the skies for potential air traffic conflicts and alert a remote pilot in command.
Andreas Raptopoulos, founder and CEO of Matternet, was excited by this FAA approval, especially since he believes that drones will play an important role in expanding delivery services in the US.
The developers believed that this authorization will serve as a model for future waivers, which will allow the use of ground sensors to manage aerial risk for real-world BVLOS operations.
UPSFF will use Matternet Mission Control software in its Remote Operations Center to control up to 3 aircraft per pilot.
With this development, companies are authorized to autonomously operate their drone flights, which will lead to an overall increase in operations using these FAA-certified aircraft.
Source: A21 | Logistics 360 Editorial