FAA Clears Alphabet-Owned Wing To Deliver By Drone

FAA Clears Alphabet Owned Wing To Deliver By Drone

The Federal Aviation Administration has allowed Wing, an Alphabet-owned drone delivery service, to perform at home deliveries using the vehicles. 

TechCrunch is reporting that it’s the first time a drone delivery company has earned the distinction, and it’s in partnership with FedEx Express and Walgreens

Wing was awarded an Air Carrier Certificate from the FAA that allows for more service with a drone, including the management of many aircraft flying at the same time without a human pilot on board. 

The first customers to get a delivery were Michael and Kelly Collver, who got a “cough and cold” pack, which included bottled water, Emergen-C, Tylenol and other cold-related products. 

The pilot program is being run in Christianburg, Virginia. It’s the first time a logistics provider like FedEx will deliver via drone and also the first time a retailer has ever done so as well. 

Another local company, Sugar Magnolia, is also working with Wing to bring the delivery of small items like chocolate and paper goods.

Earlier this year, Wing wanted to hire around 24 people in a move to expand the company and remain competitive. 

Wing wanted to expand its legal team by hiring a product counsel and a regulation lead to help foster company agendas with air regulators. There are specific issues with privacy and other regulations that drone companies have to deal with while they grow. 

The company also posted listings for a chief pilot, engineers and operations managers. 

Wing partnered with Virginia Tech and the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership as a part of the Transportation Department’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program, which was created to speed up drone integration and aid with the drafting of FAA rules around drones. 

However, competition in the space was recently heightened when Amazon also got FAA approval for its own drones for Prime delivery, less than two months after Wing.



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