The Google affiliate Wing Aviation has received approval from the federal government to make commercial deliveries by drone.
This marks the first time a corporation has gotten a federal air carrier certification for drone based deliveries.
Approval from the Federal Aviation Administration means that Wing Aviation can operate commercial drone flights in designated parts of Virginia, which it has said will start in the later part of 2019.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement “This is an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy.”
Wing Aviation went on to say the approval “means that we can begin a commercial service delivering goods from local businesses to homes in the United States.”
As of now, the company has yet to name any specific businesses they will be delivering for. Although, they will be demonstrating the technology and answering questions from the public and businesses in both Blacksburg and Christiansburg, Virginia.
Wing concluded by saying it will “solicit feedback with the goal of launching a delivery trial later this year.”
In order to win the FAA certification Wing Aviation said that it had to prove that its drone deliveries were safer than the same trip made by a car. The company has run over 70,000 test deliveries and made 3,000 successful deliveries to customers in Australia.
According to Wing there are many benefits to drone deliveries. They cited accessibility for customers with special needs, speed of delivery for items like food and medicine, and drones ability to ease traffic and lower emissions.
Drone usage has grown rapidly around the United States with many industries getting in on the benefits of these useful pieces of technology. Although, drones have faced some strong obstacles when it came to package delivery due to federal regulations that prevent flights over crowds of people without a specific permit from the FAA.
Google isn’t the only company to go after drone deliver. Giants like Amazon, DHL, and UPS are all trying to get in on this latest innovation to hit the supply chain.