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FedEx Seeks to Add Small Self-Flying Planes for Remote Areas

FedEx Corp. is looking at using small self-flying cargo planes to serve remote areas after experimenting with a technology startup on autonomous aircraft, CEO Fred Smith said. “This initiative deals with small turboprop airplanes and in this particular case, the single-engine C208, which we’re looking at putting in very remote and uninhabited areas as part of our network,” Smith said Sept. 21 at FedEx’s annual shareholder meeting. “FedEx has no plans to replace its trunk aircraft fleet with autonomous aircraft,” said Smith, a former pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps. “And I might add on the basis of my 50-plus years of experience in aviation, I think the prospect of large transport aircraft being flown without pilots is highly remote and not something that our crew-force should be worried about in the foreseeable future.”

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