There is no denying that the popularity of drones has skyrocketed in recent years. What started out as an expensive technology, has become a more widely available technology. As drones become cheaper, their uses become more practical. Many people envision a future where they can order products online, and receive them that day thanks to drone delivery.
Just imagine how pleasant it would be to get your online orders faster thanks to drones. In addition to just making faster deliveries, drones would be more environmentally friendly by taking delivery trucks off the road, thereby reducing smog emissions. However, not everyone is for this new venture. Like any other new idea, there are people who support the new, and people who are against it. There are many people who are concerned over the noise pollution the drones will create, as well as dangers they may present by flying through residential neighborhoods.
This debate is why there are strict guidelines and regulations created by the Federal Aviation Admission (FAA) that need to be met. A company cannot hope to begin drone deliveries until they have received the proper clearance from the FAA.
Wing Takes Flight
While the idea of home delivery via drones may seem farfetched to some, it is a lot more realized than people think. Numerous companies, such as Amazon and Google, are investing in the idea. This brings the highly imaginative idea of drone deliveries leaps and bounds closer to becoming a reality. In fact, one particular company, Wing, which is a part of the Google family of companies, achieved groundbreaking success in this area earlier this year when it received approval to perform drone deliveries in Australia.
Now, Wing is once again making headlines here in the states by doing something no other drone company has been able to do. It is the first drone company to obtain the status of delivery airline in Virginia. This means it has the same classification as smaller airlines, meaning it can begin to make deliveries via drones, in some areas.
Achieving this approval was no easy task. The FAA has strict guidelines for delivery airlines that must be followed. This proved to be a bit problematic for Wing, since some of the rules that make sense for full-blown airlines don’t necessarily apply to drones, such as the need for seatbelts. Still, Wing persisted and worked with the FAA to figure out which guidelines delivery drones would need to follow. So, while Wing is the first company to receive this distinction in the US, it has helped pave the way for other companies to follow suite.
When Will Your Package Arrive by Drone?
Federal regulations still prevent drones from being flown in urban areas or near large crowds, so for the time being, Wing will be operating in the two rural communities of Blacksburg and Christiansburg. Wing plans to work very closely with the local governments and general public to help bring this new technology into harmony with the world. After all, a large number of people don’t like the idea of drones flying over their homes.
Wing is still finalizing its plans, but is expecting to begin making deliveries for local companies in the area within the next few months. Consider this a bit of a trial run, and if things go well, Wing will likely receive permissions to begin expanding its service area. Unfortunately for the rest of the country, that may take a while.
The rest of the US will likely have to wait a while for its packages to be delivered by drones. However, the idea becomes a little more real every single day. Soon enough, people all over may be able to place an order online, and a few hours later, find a drone hovering by their front door with their order.
What do you think of the possibility of drone deliveries? Will the possible increase in noise be worth the speedier delivery? Has the FAA done the right thing by restricting how and where drones can be flown, or are things too restrictive?