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Christiansburg’s drone delivery service is here to stay

WDBJ7's Jen Cardone reports
Published: Oct. 30, 2020 at 10:41 PM EDT
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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) -October marks a milestone from when a drone delivery service launched in Christiansburg. Wing’s trial would have ended by now, but after an announcement on Friday, we learned those delivery drones will keep on buzzing over the town.

It’s now been a whole year since the moment the first U.S. home delivery drone handed a package down from the sky.

“We are pleased as we can be about how the first year of operating in Christiansburg could have gone," said Alexa Dennett of marketing and communications.

Delivery drone service to people’s doorsteps started small, but has exponentially grown since last October.

“We just saw an acceleration of that trend as a result of the pandemic," Dennett said.

According to Wing, it saw a 500-percent increase worldwide between February and April due to COVID-19.

Customers said the service helped them get toilet paper when there was a shortage and others said they haven’t visited the grocery store since March.

Wing increased household product needs for deliver and partnered with Montgomery County Public Schools to get library books to the kids.

“I would love to see Wing expand its service area so we really could reach every single student," said Blacksburg Middle School Librarian Kelly Passek.

Passek was a customer from the beginning and saw a need during the pandemic. Her request was just one of the ways Wing has been able to adapt during its trial and the pandemic.

On Friday, the company announced it will be staying in Christiansburg for the foreseeable future with more and exciting expansions to come. Originally, the delivery service operated under an Integrated Pilot Program (IPP) for three years with Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership. The trial was set to end on October 25.

Now, the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration have announced the BEYOND program, allowing the delivery drones to take things to the next level.

“We’re really excited to continue to look to find new ways to help our customers and potentially even grow our customer base in Christiansburg," Dennett said.

Dennett said they are always looking for new businesses to partner with and feedback to improve and expand the company in Christiansburg.

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