After getting approved for commercial air delivery in Australia earlier this month, Alphabet’s Wing drone delivery service has now received the green light from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to allow it to start air dropping packages to customers in the U.S.
The FAA’s certification of Wing, which was signed on Friday and Monday, essentially classifies the drone company as a small-sized air carrier, according to Bloomberg. Wing says it’ll begin commercial drone deliveries in Blacksburg and Christiansburg, two rural towns in Virginia “within months.”
“It’s an exciting moment for us have earned the FAA’s approval to actually run a business with our technology,” Wing Chief Executive Officer James Ryan Burgess told Bloomberg.
Wing drone deliveries will sell items from local businesses and the company says it’s now looking for merchants in the two towns to partner up with.
With the FAA’s approval, Wing’s passed a key hurdle that will not only allow the company to make commercial deliveries, but also charge for them — something that was only made possible after passing the FAA’s stringent certification process.
Speaking with Bloomberg, Burgess said the “very rigorous and very thorough” FAA certification process took months and required Wing to create “extensive manuals, training routines and a safety hierarchy.”
Rules that applied to traditional air carriers and aircraft, such as those involving seat beats and flight attendants — things drones don’t have — needed to re-established.
In the end, Wing appears confident in having successfully laid down the groundwork for other drone companies to apply for their own FAA approvals. Burgess believes the extensive paperwork it’s created will lead to other drone delivery companies getting quicker FAA approval.
For now, Wing’s drone deliveries in the U.S. will be limited to the two Virginia towns, but the FAA’s approval also allows the company to apply for expansion to other regions.
There’s still a long ways to go before we all receive packages by drone, but Wing’s big step could be the beginning of the end for crabby delivery guys and girls who could care less if they destroy your precious packages.