FAA Approval Empowers Wing to Expand BVLOS Operations Across Dallas, Major US Cities, Furthering Momentum in the Drone Delivery Landscape
As the year draws to a close, drone delivery service Wing has announced a significant development. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted Wing an exemption that allows it to operate Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) without visual observers. This approval is a game-changer, making commercial residential drone delivery more commercially viable.
The FAA’s approval came in the form of a summary grant, a tool used by the FAA to expedite the approval process for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The summary grant process is used when the FAA has already granted a previous exemption similar to the new request. This means that the FAA does not need to repeat the analysis performed for the original exemption, making the process more efficient.
This approval allows Wing’s drones to use Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast-based (ADS-B) Detect and Avoid (DAA) within a significant area of Dallas airspace.
Wing’s holistic approach to BVLOS flight, which has been employed for commercial deliveries on three continents for several years, is based on avoiding potential conflict before flights take off and uses in-flight DAA to add an additional layer of safety.
The FAA’s approval for DAA and recognition of broader strategic deconfliction and UTM applications will enable Wing to operate more efficiently and work towards scaled operations nationwide. “While Wing has already been serving customers at a 6 mile radius from nests in Frisco, this summary grant enables us to move toward BVLOS operations without visual observers across Dallas and similar airspace surrounding other major US cities, adding to the momentum of the drone delivery industry at large,” writes Margaret Nagle, Head of Global Policy and Government Affairs at Wing.
“Overall, the FAA’s approval for DAA and recognition of broader strategic deconfliction and UTM applications will allow us to operate more efficiently and work toward scaled operations nationwide. Starting with communities across the Dallas-Fort Worth area, this action supports our path toward expanding our service across the US. Wing’s fast-mile drone delivery at scale could save the Dallas-Fort Worth community several millions of hours each year which would have otherwise been spent driving to the store or delivering packages on the road.”