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Wing, owned by Google's parent company, receives first drone delivery approval in U.S.




Millions of drones buzzing through the air, delivering groceries you need to make dinner, the medicine you forgot to pick up from the pharmacy or even a hot cup of coffee.

For some, it is inevitable, effective future. For others, it may sound more like the start of a dystopic horror story.

Anyway, it is now closer to reality. The Federal Aviation Administration said on Tuesday that Wing, the drone delivery unit of Google's parent company, Alphabet, had received the agency's first approval to use drones to carry and deliver packages commercially.

Wing had previously tested their drones in a suburb of Canberra, Australia, where the machines had produced more than 3,000 deliveries, partly to demonstrate drone's security and obtain FAA approval, the company said.

There will be restrictions on US efforts. Drone supplies will be limited to parts of southwest Virginia, where Wing is already part of a F.A.A. pilot program that looks at how to integrate drones with society. The exact places are still crucial.

The drones can only be operated during the day when the weather is clear enough for them to be seen, said Greg Martin, a F.A.A. spokesman.

They can't fly over 400 feet (aircraft and helicopters usually fly over 500 feet). A drone pilot can remotely fly up to five machines, but it is not clear if there is a hard cap on the total number of drones allowed in the sky at one time.

Even with the restrictions, the drone's backers portrayed the FAA & # 39; s approval, called an airline certification, such as game change, especially since regulations, technology, and public aversion have reduced the progress of drone-delivery initiatives.

"From our perspective, it is more to treat drones as manned aviation," says Mark Blanks, director of the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, one of the organizations involved in the pilot program. "This achievement is tremendous, and I think there is a preview of the future of where this is heading." "interview in 2013 that drone deliveries can become common within five years.



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