Soon UPS may be dropping off packages across the US by drone. The Federal Aviation Administration has granted the UPS Flight Forward subsidiary air carrier and operator certification, which will allow UPS to use drones for commercial deliveries.
Flight Forward is the first company to be approved for Part 135 Standard certification, and will be allowed to operate an unlimited number of drones. The drones along with their payloads can weigh more than 55 pounds and UPS can fly their delivery drones at night.
Earlier this year Flight Forward started transporting medical lab samples and blood for transfusions around WakeMed's healthcare campus in Raleigh, North Carolina. Once it received the FAA certification, it launched a Matternet M2 quadcopter flight under a "beyond visual line of sight" (BVLOS) exemption, which it says was "a first in the US for a regular revenue-generating delivery."
To begin with, UPS is planning to expand drone deliveries to hospitals and medical campuses across the United States. Then It also plans to carry out flights outside of the healthcare industry, "including the transport of special commodities and other regulated goods."
Myself, I’m curious to see the kinds of neighborhoods this program will be successful in. It would not surprise me that a few may or may not get shot at in neighborhoods such as mine.
Dodging redneck bullets aside, it should effect heavily on delivery efficiency and speed. So we’ll keep an eye on the close skies to see if we spot any.