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Old October 4th 19, 08:18 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
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Default UPS Approved To Run “Drone Airline”

On Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at 11:14:22 AM UTC-4, Larry Dighera wrote:
The story below begs the question, how will the potential Mid-Air
Collision (MAC) hazard between UPS drones and arriving/departing
helicopter ambulances be mitigated?

UPS Approved To Run “Drone Airline”
Marc Cook October 1, 20198

Image: UPS
The FAA has given UPS’s Flight Forward subsidiary approval to run
unmanned aerial delivery vehicles under an FAR Part 135 certificate
that in turn allows it to use drones with more than 55 pounds of
useful load. UPS said it will first expand drone deliveries to
hospital campuses and then into other industries. UPS has already been
testing delivery UAVs at the Wake Forest University’s medical center
in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“This is a big step forward in safely integrating unmanned aircraft
systems into our airspace, expanding access to healthcare in North
Carolina and building on the success of the national UAS Integration
Pilot Program to maintain American leadership in unmanned aviation,”
said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

According to the FAA, “As a participant in the U.S. Transportation
Department’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program, the
North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) partnered with UPS
Flight Forward. As the operator, they have been engaged in delivery of
healthcare supplies around a major hospital campus in Raleigh, North
Carolina. The flights have focused on the delivery of blood for
potentially life-saving transfusions, as well as other medical samples
for lab work.”

Not only can UPS fly heavier drones, it can do so at night. There are
restrictions in place for the UAVs that make them less than
autonomous, however. The Associated Press reports that the “drones
won’t be allowed to fly beyond the sight of the operator without an
FAA exemption for each route. Also, each flight will need a separate
operator.” UPS will “apply for FAA permission to have a single
operator fly multiple drones at the same time.”

UPS Launches First Revenue Drone Delivery Service in U.S.

Honestly, I don't see the day when drones beyond the line of sight will
be able to populate the sky in significant or even limited numbers.
They're just too small to see and present a clear hazard to general