UPS Gets FAA Nod for Widespread Drone Deliveries
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October 1, 2019 - by Andy Pasztor for wsj.com
United Parcel Service Inc. UPS -2.33% said it received the first-of-its-kind federal approval to start setting up a fleet of unmanned aircraft to deliver health supplies and eventually consumer packages potentially throughout the U.S.
In the latest regulatory boost for expanded commercial drone services, the company also intends to gradually phase in routine night flights and heavier cargo limits—areas now generally off-limits to most operators.
Under the Federal Aviation Administration's announcement Tuesday, the company's Flight Forward unit obtained an immediate green light to ship medical products and specimens in Virginia across various hospital campuses.
But the broad approval for an entire fleet of future drones and pilots on the ground—going beyond what the FAA approved previously—opens the door for many other types of longer-range applications spanning rural and suburban areas.
The FAA approval doesn't apply to urban areas.
Calling it a major step to enhance services for health-care customers and...