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Google's Wing wins first FAA approval for drone delivery

Wing Aviation — a unit of Google's parent, Alphabet — received the first U.S. authorization to operate a fleet of drones for consumer-goods deliveries, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: The decision is a "coup for Wing in a budding, fiercely competitive industry. Amazon ... and other companies are vying for similar approvals."

  • The FAA approval covers daylight hours in a rural area around Blacksburg, Va. — home of Virginia Tech, a partner in the project.
  • Wing now will "survey residents and local businesses about the types of food, medicines and other goods that might be carried."

"[U]nmanned aircraft will travel over longer distances than are now typically permitted for carrying payloads, and ... fly beyond ... sight of operators — issues at the heart of delivering goods and packages directly to consumers."

Go deeper: The drone nightmare is here