FAA Authorizes Zipline for Drone Delivery Beyond Visual Line of Sight
The FAA has granted authorization for Zipline to delivery packages by drone, beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) of the pilot. The approval means that Zipline will be able to deliver packages in a wider range around their delivery points, without visual observers along the route – making commercial drone delivery at scale economically feasible.
The approval letter is available here. The approval follows FAA statements that the agency would move forward on expanding commercial BVLOS operations in the absence of a rulemaking by working towards granting approvals in a more templated manner, based on previous authorizations. To that end, the FAA has granted ground-breaking approvals for BVLOS operations in 3 different categories: Phoenix Air was granted permission to fly a large, unmanned helicopter; uAvionix received authorization to fly their Rapace fixed wing within the Vantis network to test detect and avoid capabilities; and UPS Flight Forward has been granted authorization…