Briefing

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Logistics company UPS received approval from U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to operate drone airline for healthcare delivery in U.S.

October 28, 2019

Briefing:
  • FAA Approval – Logistics firm UPS was approved by U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to receive first Part 135 Standard certification to operate drone airline with exemptions under UPS Flight Forward
  • UPS Flight Forward – UPS subsidiary that partnered with drone maker Matternet in March 2019 to operate first revenue-generating drone delivery service carrying lab specimens from clinics to U.S. hospitals, starting with WakeMed Health in North Carolina
  • Approved Exemptions – Allows UPS to fly drones beyond line of sight and at night with no limits on number of drones and operators, as well as medical and healthcare supply cargos exceeding 55 pounds per drone
  • Flight Exceptions – Initially restricted to rural areas and campus-like settings with lower population densities, with FAA yet to develop rules to allow drone operations in urban areas
  • Logistics Network Integration – Enables UPS to integrate drones into its logistics network with potential for new applications
  • Long-Term Plans – Include expanding to new hospitals and medical campuses in U.S., building infrastructure such as detect-and-avoid (DAA) technologies and centralized operations control center, and exploring new uses like transport of special commodities and other regulated goods
  • Existing UPS Efforts – Tested drones for urgent and non-urgent commercial, as well as residential deliveries which were launched from UPS package delivery car, and funded humanitarian deliveries in Africa

Image Source: UPS Website

Image Source: UPS Website

Business Models and Practices: Innovative Partnerships , New Revenue Models
Sectors: Healthcare/Health Sciences, Information Technology, Transportation and Logistics
Functions: Customer Experience and Service, Supply Chain and Logistics, IT Infrastructure, Operations, Manufacturing and Production, Research and Development, Sales and Distribution Channels
Organizations: Matternet, United Parcel Service of America Inc. (UPS)

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