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Wing wins FAA go-ahead for drone delivery service

Wing drone delivery
Wing’s drone makes a delivery. (Wing Photo)

Alphabet’s Wing venture has stolen a march on Amazon’s plans for drone domination by winning air carrier certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.

“Air Carrier Certification means that we can begin a commercial service delivering goods from local businesses to homes in the United States,” Wing said today in a Medium post celebrating the milestone.

Wing was spun out last year from Alphabet’s X tech incubator (formerly known as Google X), and has been taking part in an FAA-backed pilot program to push the envelope for drone operations in Southwest Virginia.

The company has also conducted a test program in Australia that involved more than 3,000 drone deliveries to doorsteps, backyards and driveways. In all, Wing’s drones have flown more than 70,000 test flights, and is starting up delivery operations in Finland.

Wing said the data submitted to the FAA for certification showed that “a delivery by wing carries a lower risk to pedestrians than the same trip made by car.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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