The company is the first operator to receive air carrier certification under BEYOND, the FAA’s uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) integration program, which focuses on safely integrating Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations into US airspace.
Under the new certification, Zipline will now be able to fly round trips on routes of up to 26 miles (42km), including through Class D airspace – the designation used for areas around smaller airports that have a control tower.
The firm says that the certification will enable its operations to cover ‘the largest area and greatest distance of any commercial UAS in the country’. In particular, the certification will support the expansion of services with its existing partners, which include healthcare providers Novant Health, Cardinal Health, Intermountain Healthcare, and Magellan Rx Management.
“Zipline’s sustainable instant delivery system is transforming healthcare and retail,” said Keller Rinaudo, co-founder & CEO at Zipline. “Today, on average, Zipline makes a delivery every four minutes—ensuring people get access to the products they need, the moment they need them.”