Alphabet's Wing Delivery Service Takes Flight in Australia


Alphabet’s Project Wing on Monday launched a commercial air delivery service in North Canberra, Australia, providing customers with fresh food, hot coffee and over-the-counter medications from seven local businesses.

Shoppers can use Wing’s mobile app to place orders and receive deliveries within 30 minutes.

The launch follows an 18-month test period in the area, with more than 3,000 packages delivered.

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Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority, CASA, has approved the delivery subject to various restrictions, including the following:

Delivery times are limited to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays and public holidays; The service initially is restricted to 100 homes in Gungahlin, north of the Canberra central business district; The drones must avoid major roads; and A drone pilot must be at the helm during operation, even though the system is automated.

The normal distance between drones and people is set at about 100 feet (30 meters), but CASA has reduced it to 16.5 feet (5 meters) above people and 6.5 feet (2 meters) to their side while the drones make deliveries.

There are plans to expand the Project Wing service to more customers in Harrison and Gungahlin.