Drone company “Wing“—an offshoot of Google’s parent company Alphabet, has been trialling deliveries of coffee and local medication using drones for past 18 years and will now go full time ahead as it receives approval from Aviation Watchdogs on Tuesday.
The spokesman for CASA, Australian aviation authority – Peter Gibson, told the media that the safety of the drones, traffic management system, drone pilot training and operational plans have been verified as 3,000 deliveries have been made which allowed the regulators to judge the safety of the project. He also said that the project was approved with strict conditions which included daylight operating hours around 11-12 hours a day and that they should not be fully automated but need to be piloted, banning the drones from crossing over main roads and staying at a specified altitude.
There were two issues that the regulators did not judge or focus upon which included the invasion of privacy of the residents as they fear that the drone might hinder with it and also the noise created by the drone which disturbed the residents , above whom it flew, since, they claim that the noise could be heard from even a double- glazed glass window. On the other hand, Gibson claimed that CASA did consider the noise issues of the project when it had given the green signal.
The initial area from where the operation will commence covers only one hundred homes lying in the suburbs of Crace, Palmerston and Franklin in Canberra as of now. However, the number is said to expand quickly as per the demand from the public. It is claimed that it will soon expand to Harrison and Gungahlin also.
When a customer uses an app to order any product , it is loaded onto a drone. The drone then hovers over its destination and lowers down the goods on a winch-line cable delivering it directly to the customer before flying away.
In the United States of America, UPS launched the country’s first authorised use of unmanned drones for transporting packages to recipients last month.
The drone delivery is believed to add $30m to $40m of additional annual revenue for ACT(Australian Capital Territory) businesses as estimated by the company.
The project is trumpeting reductions in delivery cost and also in the carbon emissions and predicts that these drones could deliver more than one in four takeaway food orders. It is estimated that this project could deliver 4-6% of all purchases in the Australian Capital Territory(ACT) by 2030.