Zipline’s Drones: A New Dawn for Drone Delivery

Have you ever imagined a world where drones seamlessly soar above, delivering essential items right to your doorstep? With the FAA's recent nod to Zipline International, Inc., this is closer than you think!

Taking to the Skies Beyond Sight

In a groundbreaking move, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given Zipline International, Inc. the green light to initiate commercial package deliveries using drones that operate beyond the operator's visual line of sight (BVLOS) around Salt Lake City and Bentonville, . No longer will drones be confined to the limiting view of their human operators.

Traditionally, even the most advanced drone deliveries required visual observers placed en route to monitor the sky, but 's latest authorization challenges this norm.

A Step Ahead with Advanced Technology

Zipline's reputation in the drone delivery sector is noteworthy. Last June, they announced that they had received the “Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate from the FAA,” which set them up to perform long-range on-demand drone deliveries in the U.S. Moreover, Zipline introduced a novel detect-and-avoid system harnessing acoustic-based technology fitted to an autonomous aircraft.

This system, Zipline claims, offers real-time “airspace monitoring,” eliminating any need for those on-the-ground watchers. After extensive testing worldwide, Zipline's onboard perception safety system has proven to uphold “the highest safety standards.”

Having flown “over 50 million commercial autonomous miles globally,” Zipline's drones have played pivotal roles in nations like Ghana and Rwanda, ensuring timely delivery of essential items, from vaccines to food.

The FAA's Vision for the Future

Zipline's milestone signifies more than just a company achievement. It mirrors the FAA's unwavering commitment to revolutionize drone operations across the U.S.

By aligning with guidelines from the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 and the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016, the FAA envisions a future where drones and traditional aircraft harmoniously share the skies.

In 2022, the UAS Beyond Visual Line of Sight Operations Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) presented its report, which offers a detailed blueprint to augment UAS operations.

By focusing on Detect and Avoid (DAA) systems, the FAA aims to ensure that drones fly safely, especially below 400 feet above ground level (AGL).

The FAA is also considering collaboration with third-party service providers, which could play significant roles in DAA solutions, potentially revolutionizing the entire drone operational landscape.

As the FAA champions Zipline's operations, the future beckons a world where urgent deliveries, from medication to meals, become swifter, more eco-friendly, and widely available.

Welcome to the future of delivery! Remember, all this started with a significant nod from the FAA to Zipline.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

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