FedEx Express (FX, Memphis Int'l) is working with Sikorsky Aircraft (Bridgeport) to trial single-pilot Avions de Transport Régional cargo operations, The Air Current has reported.

Trials have been going on at Oxford, CT airport. Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows that N912FX (msn 47), a 33.9-year-old ATR42-300(F) owned by FedEx and operated on its behalf by Empire Airlines (EM, Coeur d'Alene), has been stored at Oxford, CT since April 2019, although for the vast majority of the time since then it has been inactive. However, the aircraft was reactivated on February 10, 2021, and has been regularly active on test flights around the airport since then.

"FedEx will continue to explore new technologies in order to best meet our customers’ needs and remain the world’s premiere logistics and delivery network. Our fleet modernization plan is committed to incorporating the latest technologies related to safety, efficiency and sustainability. Our latest work with Sikorsky continues this commitment to innovation and exploration," the logistics firm told ch-aviation.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, FedEx Express owns twenty ATR42-300(F)s, of which one has been retired, and the other 19 are operated by Empire Airlines (ten), Mountain Air Cargo (eight), and Gulf & Caribbean Cargo (one). The logistics firm also owns nineteen active ATR72-200(F)s, of which nine are operated by Mountain Air Cargo, six by Empire Airlines, and four by Canada's Morningstar Air Express. FedEx Express does not directly operate any turboprops. The airline has a firm order for a total of thirty factory-built ATR72-600Fs, of which the first one has already been delivered to ASL Airlines Ireland.

Smaller aircraft, including Cessna (single turboprop) C208Bs, Beech 1900(F)s, and Metroliner(F)s, operated on behalf of FedEx by various regional operators in the United States, such as Baron Aviation Services, CSA Air, Key Lime Air, Merlin Airways, West Air (United States of America), and Wiggins Airways, already use a single pilot. In 2020, Reliable Robotics used a C208B owned by FedEx and operated by CSA Air to perform a trial automated landing at San Martin airport in California.