Spawned by Google, Wing wins FAA’s air carrier certification for drone deliveries

  • Spawned by Google, Wing wins FAA’s air carrier certification for drone deliveries

Spawned by Google, Wing wins FAA’s air carrier certification for drone deliveries

The US Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation gave Wing, a drone startup under Google parent company Alphabet, the same certifications as small airlines, Wing confirmed Tuesday.

With the FAA's approval, Wing's passed a key hurdle that will not only allow the company to make commercial deliveries, but also charge for them - something that was only made possible after passing the FAA's stringent certification process.

Wing drones have gained clearance from the FAA.

It's the culmination of years of effort - a project that only an innovator with deep pockets like Alphabet could have attempted.

Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority granted Wing approval to launch a home delivery service earlier in April. The company stressed that drone delivery provides more independence to people who need assistance with mobility and that the all-electric drones will reduce traffic and pollution with zero carbon emissions. Wing worked to prove not only that drone delivery was safe - but that it was actually safer than the alternatives. "Safety is our most important focus, and we'll continue to work with the FAA on additional approvals to expand our capabilities".

These submissions included data showing that a delivery by Wing carries a lower risk to pedestrians than the same trip made by auto.

The company has also conducted a test program in Australia that involved more than 3,000 drone deliveries to doorsteps, backyards and driveways. "Safety continues to be our Number One priority as this technology continues to develop and realize its full potential", said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

With the certification in hand, Wing Aviation can turn its tests into commercial deliveries in the U.S.

"Our next steps over the coming weeks are to begin talking with the communities and businesses in the Blacksburg and Christiansburg areas of Virginia, where we'll begin our commercial delivery pilot as part of the Integrated Pilot Program (IPP) later this year", the release added.

"For communities across the country, this presents new opportunities", says Wing.