HomeTechnologyAlphabet Unit Wing seeks FAA OK to help expand U.S. drone operations

Alphabet Unit Wing seeks FAA OK to help expand U.S. drone operations

Drones are the new age entertainment and recreational source. They are not only being used for recreational purposes, but it has also become a huge source of income for many. Different countries have different drone rules, some are very lenient and some have very strict rules. In the USA, there are quite strict drone rules, though for recreational purposes it is quite easy to understand and comply with it.

Alphabet’s Unit Wing:Wing is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. that is specialized in developing drone systems for delivery purposes. The company is a well renowned name in the USA and it completed its first delivery operations in 2014. Wing has also operated in Finland and Australia. 

In the year 2018, Wing graduated from Google X and became an independent alphabet company. Wing expanded its operations in 2019 and started delivering food and beverages as a part of its test facility in Australia. In April 2019, it became the first to get an Air operator’s certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration which allowed it to operate as an Airline in the USA. Wing’s operations expanded so much by the start of 2022, that it had already made around 50,000 deliveries

FAA Authorization:

Although you can buy a drone anytime, when it comes to flying, there are several points to be noted. Before flying a drone you must be aware of the regulations imposed by the FAA. Before drawing conclusions on what are the restrictions it’s important to figure out how you will be using your drone. 

If you are flying the drone for fun purposes all you have to do is register and get tested which will hardly take an hour of your time. You will be asked to pay a registration fee and you will have to take a knowledge test which will be quite basic. Although using it for professional purposes, comes with many restrictions and regulations which one has to go through. One will have to appear in a difficult exam and also receive part 107 certification. Once you get the certificate you are eligible to use it for professional uses like stock imagery, film production and photoshoots. 

The FAA reauthorization of 2018 has set up a legal framework for agencies to regulate the use of drones for various purposes including recreational and professional. The FAA grants a registration number for the drones which will be used commercially and the cost for getting this registration number is around 5 dollars.

FAA and Alphabet Wing:

Alphabet wing wanted to expand its operations beyond the city of Virginia, so it wanted permissions from the US Federal Aviation Administration to have some relaxation in some drone rules which are imposed in the state. 

Wing has been providing direct to home and on demand delivery services in Virginia since a long period of time. The operations started back in the year 2019.  As they want to expand their operations in the other cities as well, they are seeking some changes in the drone rules. The agency had mentioned that it is expecting opinion from the public before coming to any conclusion. 

Wing also clarified that it has made huge investments to increase the safety and capacity of the drones which will be used. The drones have been properly tested and no accidents have been reported for the past 17 months since its operations in many areas of Virginia. Wing wants to expand its services and is seeking approval to consolidate remote pilot operations to regional facilities. The regional pilot facilities will be capable enough to safely keep a control over a large number of aircrafts at the same time.

Wing stated that once it gets approval from the FAA it is planning to use a derivative of the current version which is being used currently. The derivative which will be used has already been proved successful because it is very reliable in commercial operations and it is also very similar in operational characteristics.

Another relaxation which Wing is expecting is the permission to check the operator line every 12 months instead of every 3 months. It stated that the existing technology and services which they are providing is very restricted and if the above mentioned permission is granted then drones will reach more American households and things will become more feasible and convenient for a large number of people who are preferring using drone services. 

Not long after this the FAA made some changes in the drone rules and it has granted permissions to fly small drones to fly over people at night. This will not require any additional permissions from the FAA. However, the long-awaited regulations, which in most circumstances require remote identification technology to permit drone identification from the ground, address a number of security concerns.

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