Google’s Wing Aviation made history as the first drone delivery company to be certified as an air carrier by the FAA on Tuesday. The certification will allow Wing to start a commercial delivery service in the U.S. that will use all-electric drones to deliver small goods to local homes and businesses. As shown in the video below, Wing reports that it has already flown more than 70,000 test flights and made over 3,000 home deliveries to customers in Australia.
“Wing demonstrated that its operations met the FAA’s rigorous safety requirements to qualify for an air carrier certificate,” the FAA said in a statement. “This is based on extensive data and documentation, as well as thousands of safe flights conducted in Australia over the past several years.” According to Wing, its data showed that “delivery by Wing carries a lower risk to pedestrians than the same trip made by car.”
Prior to certification, Wing partnered with the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership and Virginia Tech as one of the participants in the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program (UAS IPP). As a next step, the company says it will be furthering its participation in UAS IPP in Southwest Virginia with the goal of launching a delivery trial in the Blacksburg and Christiansburg areas later in 2019.