UPS Flight Forward will operate unmanned drone delivery services across the USA

UPS has applied to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Part 135 certification to operate commercial drone flights in the UPS® network under a subsidiary business called UPS Flight Forward, Inc.

The new subsidiary is a recently incorporated business that could receive Part 135 certification as early as this year, putting UPS on track to have one of the first fully-certified, revenue-generating drone operations in the United States. When approved, this certification lays the foundation for drone flights beyond an operator’s visual line of sight, and for flights occurring day or night. Such flights are highly restricted in the United States and approved only by exception.

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Collaboration between Rhenus Air & Ocean and Wings for Aid


Over the next two years, Rhenus Air & Ocean and Wings for Aid will work together to explore the feasibility of a strategic alliance for the ‘last mile’ delivery of relief goods in disaster areas. Both parties signed an agreement this month.

Bridging the so-called ‘last mile’ in disaster areas that are difficult to reach is a major logistical problem. It is estimated that 100 million people in disaster areas are in need of emergency aid every year, 20 percent of whom are poorly served. Wings for Aid responds to this with an innovative delivery system consisting of unmanned small airplanes and smart technology that allows self-landing boxes of emergency aid to land with great precision in otherwise inaccessible places. Rhenus Air & Ocean looks after the logistics needed to get the delivery system to its destination quickly and efficiently, anywhere in the world.

The system can be used for disaster relief, but also for the planned supply of medicines in remote areas. In 2018, the system was tested in the Dominican Republic, delivering 20 kilograms of emergency aid per flight. Based on the positive results, work is now underway on the next generation of unmanned aircraft capable of carrying 120 kilograms per flight, over a distance of 250 kilometres, and then returning for the next flight. Further tests will be carried out in the summer of 2019.

“The goal of our partnership is to combine our growth ambition, by offering innovative logistics solutions, with the drive to also have a positive social impact,” says Frank Roderkerk, Regional Manager Air & Ocean Benelux of the Rhenus Group.

“Our goal is to provide emergency aid where no one else can,” says Barry Koperberg, Director of Wings for Aid, “and to be there within 48 hours, anywhere in the world. The Barry strength and network of Rhenus Air & Ocean will help us achieve that ambition.”

Barry Koperberg will be speaking at the upcoming conference in the USA.

US Government to Publish Small UAS Rule by Year End

The U.S. government should release a draft regulation governing the operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) by the end of the year, federal officials told the Unmanned Systems Conference. The Federal Aviation Administration also provided more information on two restricted category type certifications it awarded on July 19, for the first time permitting operators to fly unmanned aircraft commercially.

The FAA draft rulemaking governing operation of small UAS weighing up to 55 pounds,which the agency originally expected to release in December 2011, has been stalled within the federal government over privacy considerations. John Porcari, U.S.Department of Transportation deputy secretary, said his department and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), are close to completing their vetting of the proposed rule.

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Source: UAS Vision

NextGen Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research, Development and Demonstration Roadmap

This is the first report of progress in producing a NextGen Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research, Development and Demonstration Roadmap (NextGen UAS RD&D Roadmap). The  activity was established to enable a responsive, efficient, timely, coordinated multiagency  Research and Development (R&D) effort that will enable the U.S. to realize fully the benefits of  Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS). Continue reading “NextGen Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research, Development and Demonstration Roadmap”