UPS delivery drones are now approved by the FAA for longer missions.

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    The Federal Aviation Administration announced in a news release on Wednesday that UPS delivery drones are now permitted to fly farther distances without the sight of ground operators. This kind of action makes it possible for drone delivery services like Wing, FedEx, and Zip to reach more clients and deliver items over longer distances.

    Using Matternet M2 drones, UPS Flight Forward, a UPS subsidiary that specializes in drone delivery, can now deliver small goods beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) without spotters on the ground keeping an eye out for other aircraft along the flight path and in the surrounding sky. Two more businesses received permission from the FAA to fly beyond visual range for business purposes. uAvionix Corp. and Phoenix Air Unmanned, a corporation that specializes in infrastructure inspection, are two examples of this.

    In 2019, the same year the FAA approved Alphabet’s Wing service to be used for commercial purposes, UPS first gained government license to run its drone service. Building a drone delivery network for US hospital campuses was the company’s initial aim.

    The announcement follows Walmart’s recent announcement that it will work with Wing to deliver packages in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Through its partners DroneUp, Flytrex, and Zipline, Walmart has already shipped more than 10,000 packages across seven states. The store will be able to deliver to 60,000 more homes thanks to the new arrangement.

    However, not all drone delivery initiatives have been successful, such as Amazon’s Prime Air drone delivery service. The service is only available in California and Texas, where it only made 100 deliveries in May. Whatever the current figure is, it’s much behind Amazon’s previous prediction that it will conduct 10,000 drone deliveries to consumers by the end of 2023.