UPS Launches Drone Subsidiary; Seeks Certification Granted to Alphabet

by Susan Beardslee | 3Q 2019 | IN-5565
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires a Part 135 certification to permit companies to operate as legal commercial entities and as a certified air carrier and operators. This eliminates limitations that include line-of-sight operation, nighttime flights, charging for flights, and other restrictions. To date, only Alphabet’s Wing has been granted the exception to operate beyond the Part 107 certification, which is limited to noncommercial small unmanned aircraft systems (UASs)--e.g., drones--and operates on a smaller scale. UPS has created a new subsidiary called Flight Forward that will use commercial drones and has requested approval for Part 135 certification. How soon will the FAA issue a ruling, and will it be ready to extend the scale of commercial operations without more experience?

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