FAA Approves Zipline Drones for Long-Distance Deliveries

The company joins UPS with its approval for beyond line-of-sight deliveries

Liz Hughes, Editor, IoT World Today

September 25, 2023

1 Min Read
A Zipline delivery drone in the air delivering a package.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved another company to fly delivery drones longer distances without visual observers. 

Zipline International received FAA approval to deliver commercial packages in Salt Lake City, Utah and Bentonville, Arkansas beyond visual line of sight. 

Zipline’s Sparrow drone will release the packages using a parachute. Known as Zips, the drones have an onboard detection and avoidance system for continuous, real-time monitoring. 

“This decision means that we can start to transition delivery to solutions that are 10 times as fast, less expensive and zero emission,” said Keller Rinaudo Cliffton, Zipline CEO and co-founder. “It means that Zipline hubs across the country can now go from serving a few thousand homes to serving hundreds of thousands of homes each year and millions of people, which will save time, money and even lives.” 

Earlier this month the FAA gave UPS Flight Forward, uAvionix and Phoenix Air approval to operate drones beyond visual line of sight. The approvals were issued following a request for public comment on the applications. 

The FAA is working to develop standard rules to integrate drones into the National Airspace System, rather than set aside separate airspace exclusively for drone operations.

Related:FAA Approves UPS to Fly Delivery Drones Longer Distances

About the Author(s)

Liz Hughes

Editor, IoT World Today, IoT World Today

Liz Hughes is an award-winning digital media editor with more than two decades of experience in newspaper, magazine and online media industries. 

A proven digital media strategist and editor, Liz has produced content and offered editorial support and leadership for a variety of web publications, including Fast Company, NBC Boston, Street Fight, QuinStreet, WTWH Media, AOL/Patch Media and Design News.

A skilled social media strategist experienced in developing and maintaining an audience across multiple platforms and brands, Liz also enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise to help businesses small and large.

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