(Pocket-lint) – After being given the go-ahead to run a drone delivery service in Australia, Google has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to launch the service in the US too.
The company, or rather its sister-firm Wing, has been granted the same certifications as smaller airlines to operate in the country.
This will result in its first drone delivery routes being opened in rural communities in Virginia in the next few months.
“It’s an exciting moment for us to have earned the FAA’s approval to actually run a business with our technology,” said Wing’s CEO James Ryan Burgess, in an interview with Bloomberg.
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It follows approval from the Australia’s air safety regulator, the Civil Air Safety Authority (CASA), earlier this month, which allows Wing to use drones in Canberra to deliver a wide range of goods.
This includes groceries and golf gear ordered from local businesses in the area.
The service underwent trials in Bonython, on the fringes of Canberra, for a year with more than a thousand deliveries successfully completed without incident.
The data enabled the CASA to make its decision to allow Wing to operate on a wider basis: “We’ve gone through the thorough safety assessment we did for the Bonython operation, we’ve done that now for Mitchell and surrounding suburbs. We’ll issue the appropriate permissions for those to go ahead,” said the Authority’s spokesman, Peter Gibson to the local ABC Radio Canberra station.
“Everyone can rest assured from a safety perspective it will operate very, very well, just as it did down at Bonython.”
The only major criticism was from locals who complained about the noise of the drones used in the trials. Wing has promised, though, that it will be using quieter models for the larger rollout.
Writing by Rik Henderson.