The FAA recently issued its first-ever air carrier authorization to an operator utilizing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for package delivery, marking a significant step not only toward integrating drones into the National Airspace System (NAS) but also for establishing a foundation supporting future aircraft operations that hold promise in business aviation applications.
Wing, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet Inc., intends to begin drone cargo deliveries in Blacksburg, VA later this year. The city of approximately 45,000 residents is home to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, which was selected as one of the FAA’s initial UAS test sites in 2014.
NBAA Director, Air Traffic Services and Infrastructure Heidi Williams said the announcement demonstrates the effectiveness and maturity of efforts, including the UAS Integration Pilot Program (UASIPP), a Department of Transportation program pairing private stakeholders with public entities to address technical, regulatory and policy challenges to safe UAS operations, and the still-evolving UAS Traffic Management (UTM) initiative. READ MORE (NBAA)