Giant American delivery service UPS has started delivering products by drone after approval from the United States Government.
The American Federal Aviation Administration has given UPS the go ahead to create a fleet of drones to deliver products by air, with the company starting with deliveries of medical supplies for hospitals.
The FAA granted UPS a Part 135 Standard Certification allowing the company to fly at night and operate drones beyond an operator’s line of sight.
UPS’ Flight Forward’s certificate permits the company to fly an unlimited number of drones with an unlimited number of remote operators in command. This enables UPS to scale its operations to meet customer demand.
Through its Flight Forward program UPS has begun delivering medical supplies and will soon expand the service to include other products.
UPS Chief Executive David Abney said this the deliveries were historic and the company was planning more eye-catching developments in future.
“Our technology is opening doors for UPS and solving problems in unique ways for our customers. We will soon announce other steps to build our infrastructure, expand our services for healthcare customers and put drones to new uses,” Abney said.
UPS has partnered with drone-maker Matternet to produce the aircraft which can carry a maximum load of 25kg.
UPS said it had proven the need for drone delivery in healthcare operations, where the shortest time in transit can improve efficiency and help healthcare professionals serve their patients better.
UPS is not the only company to move towards a drone delivery service,. Amazon is planning to do something similar and Google, in partnership with Fed Ex, is also investigating aerial deliveries.