The FAA has awarded the first air carrier certification to a drone delivery company, Wing Aviation, a sister company to Google.
The certification paves the way for Wing Aviation to begin delivering food 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.
According to FAA officials, Wing demonstrated that its operations met the agency’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.