FAA certifies Google's Wing drone delivery company to operate as an airline

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - The Federal Aviation Administration has certified Alphabet's Wing Aviation to operate as an airline, in a first for U.S. drone delivery companies. Wing, which began as a Google X project, has been testing its autonomous drones in southwest Virginia and elsewhere, reports BIll Chappel for NPR.

FAA certifies Google's Wing drone delivery company to operate as an airline
FAA certifies Google's Wing drone delivery company to operate as an airline
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - The Federal Aviation Administration has certified Alphabet's Wing Aviation to operate as an airline, in a first for U.S. drone delivery companies. Wing, which began as a Google X project, has been testing its autonomous drones in southwest Virginia and elsewhere, reports BIll Chappel for NPR.

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The Intelligent Aerospace take:

April 24, 2019 -The promise of drone deliveries finally lands stateside as the Federal Aviation Administration approved Google spin-off company Wing as an air carrier which allows their autonomous UAS to begin deliveries in southwest Virginia. This is the first instance in which the FAA has made that approval.

"This is an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy. Safety continues to be our Number One priority as this technology continues to develop and realize its full potential," Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao said in a statement from the agency.

Wing has flown more than 70,000 test flights and delivered thousands of packages in Australia since 2014. Its delivery drone has 14 propellers and can carry packages weighing up to 3.3 pounds (1.5kg).

Related: Airmap and Honeywell to develop UAS tracking system

Related: Oklahoma State University receives first FAA authorization to fly UAS 'swarms' within national airspace

Related: FAA establishes restrictions of UAS flights over numerous Dept. of Justice, Dept of Defense facilities

Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

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