Google drone delivery unit gets FAA approval

April 24, 2019 //By Rich Pell
Google drone delivery unit gets FAA approval
Drone home delivery company Wing Aviation, a unit of Google's parent, Alphabet Inc., has announced that it has become the first drone delivery company to receive Air Carrier Certification from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The certification, says the company, means that it can begin a commercial service delivering goods from local businesses to homes in the United States.

"For communities across the country, this presents new opportunities," says the company. "Goods like medicine or food can now be delivered faster by drone, giving families, shift workers, and other busy consumers more time to do the things that matter."

"Air delivery also provides greater autonomy to those who need assistance with mobility. Also, our all-electric drones will reduce traffic on our roads and pollution and carbon emissions in our skies."

The FAA certification required that the company submit evidence that its operations are safe. Wing says its submissions to the FAA included data showing that a delivery by Wing carries a lower risk to pedestrians than the same trip made by car.

"Our drones have flown over 70,000 test flights," says the company, "and more than 3,000 deliveries to doorsteps, driveways and backyards of our customers in Australia."

The next step, the company says, is to further its participation in the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP) in Southwest Virginia, which brings state, local, and tribal governments together with private sector entities, such as UAS operators or manufacturers, to accelerate safe drone integration. For the next several months, the company says it will be reaching out to businesses and community members in the Blacksburg and Christiansburg areas to demonstrate its technology, answer questions, and solicit feedback with the goal of launching a delivery trial later this year.

"Wing has worked for six years to build a small, lightweight aircraft and navigational system that can safely deliver small packages on demand to specific destinations in only a few minutes," says the company. "Air Carrier Certification is an important step that will ultimately allow us to create air delivery services for communities in America."

Earlier this month, the company announced that it had launched its

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