Google’s drone-delivery firm ‘Wing’ is granted the go-ahead in Australia

Date : 09 April 2019

Wing, the drone delivery company owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, is launching its first public drone delivery service in Australia, albeit in a limited capacity.

Focus on rural areas

‘Wing’ is an autonomous delivery drone service which aims not only to increase access to goods in rural areas but also to reduce CO2 emissions generated by traffic congestion in cities.

The trial stage has been taking place in both the US and Australia and has lasted 18 months. It has finally been approved for ongoing commercial delivery operations by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

Supervised trial

According to Wing, "food and drinks, over-the-counter chemist items, and locally made coffee and chocolate" have been delivered by its drones during the trial stage. Around 3,000 deliveries have been carried out under the supervision of CASA, who were keen to assess whether the drones represented any kind of risk to the public.

The drones are now allowed to operate in an area that covers about 100 homes only, significantly short of what ‘Wing’ hoped to achieve. However, CASA approval could be a massive sign to other regulators that this kind of project is potentially viable for their own jurisdictions.