Washington, DC (Apr. 23, 2019) – U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded the first air carrier certification to Alphabet Inc.’s drone delivery company, Wing Aviation.
The certification paved the way for Wing Aviation, a ‘sister’ unit to search engine Google, to begin commercial package delivery in Blacksburg, Virginia. Wing partnered with the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership and Virginia Tech, as one of the participants in the Transportation Department’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program.
“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,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.
Wing demonstrated that its operations met the FAA’s rigorous safety requirements to qualify for an air carrier certificate. This is based on extensive data and documentation, as well as thousands of safe flights conducted in Australia over the past several years.
Wing plans to reach out to the local community before it begins food delivery, to gather feedback to inform its future operations.
About the UAS Integration Pilot Program
Beginning in 2017, the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP) has brought state, local, and tribal governments together with private sector entities, such as UAS operators or manufacturers, to accelerate safe drone integration. The program is helping the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) craft new rules that support more complex low-altitude operations. The program has created a meaningful dialogue on the balance between local and national interests related to drone integration, and provide actionable information to the USDOT on expanded and universal integration of drones into the National Airspace System. Learn more.
Source: Federal Aviation AdministrationTags: Drones, transportation