Drone delivery company, Wing Aviation, receives first FAA air carrier certification

WASHINGTON. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials granted the first air carrier certification to a drone delivery company, Wing Aviation, U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced in a press release.

The certification paves the way for Wing Aviation to begin commercial package delivery in Blacksburg, Virginia. The company 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,” says 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.

Officials at Wing Aviation -- a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. -- a plan to reach out to the local community before it begins food delivery, to gather feedback to inform its future operations.