The so-called ‘Project Wing’ from Google has just obtained the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin its activity in the United States.
The race for the delivery drones has just taken an unexpected turn that encumbra to Google over the millionaire investments of Amazon, DHL or UPS. And, until now, all these companies have conducted tests in real environments with these devices, but none had obtained the government authorization to start commercial operations in a major market, such as Europe or the US.
As we said, that was until now, because the so-called ‘Project Wing’ of the popular search engine has just obtained the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA, for its acronym in English) to begin its activity in the United States. It is the first company to obtain this certification, currently limited to the state of Virginia.
In that territory, Wing Aviation (subsidiary of Alphabet, in turn Google’s parent company) will be able to deliver local business assets to private homes, even with flights out of the line of sight of operators and flying over urban centers.
Wing Aviation, which has partnered with the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership and Virginia Tech to get this approval, plans to begin delivery of commercial packages in Blacksburg, Virginia, later this year.
The certification is valid for two years and includes numerous details about the security limitations imposed on Google for these commercial flights. Among other aspects, the regulator restricts that a pilot can operate a maximum of five drones at a time and only during the day. Also, drones can not transport hazardous materials or be suspended over people.
A crucial step in the race for the delivery of packages through the skies that occurs after an extensive baggage of tests in different parts of the world. Google has made more than 70,000 test flights and completed more than 3,000 deliveries to customers in Australia (where it is already commercially available) with these unmanned aircraft, while maintaining other tests in places such as Helsinki (Finland).