Drone company gets OK to start delivering packages in Blacksburg

Drone, Photo Date: November 24, 2014 / Cropped Photo: Andrew Turner / CC BY 2.0 / (MGN)
Drone, Photo Date: November 24, 2014 / Cropped Photo: Andrew Turner / CC BY 2.0 / (MGN)
Published: Apr. 23, 2019 at 2:38 PM EDT
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The Federal Aviation Administration has given the green light to a drone delivery company to start delivering packages in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Wing has become the first drone delivery company in the US to receive Air Carrier Certification from the FAA, according to a news release. Wing is owned by the parent company of Google.

"Wing worked extensively with the FAA over several years to demonstrate the safety of our aircraft, operations and systems to gain this approval," the release stated. "Safety is our most important focus, and we’ll continue to work with the FAA on additional approvals to expand our capabilities."

Company officials said they survey the community to see what kind of items they want delivered by air, which could include over-the-counter medicines and hot meals.

Major companies like Uber and UPS are also trying to secure similar federal approvals for commercial drone deliveries.

The delivery service is set to launch within months in Blacksburg. Company officials said they plan to expand service in Virginia and around the country, but did not say when that might be.

"Our next steps over the coming weeks are to begin talking with the communities and businesses in the Blacksburg and Christiansburg areas of Virginia, where we’ll begin our commercial delivery pilot as part of the Integrated Pilot Program (IPP) later this year," the release added.