Alphabet unit Wing Aviation has secured an approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to deliver goods to customers using drones.

The approval makes Wing Aviation the first company to get US air carrier certification. The FAA permit to the firm includes flights beyond visual line of sight and over people, noted Reuters.

The federal approval allows the company to start delivering goods from local businesses to homes in Blacksburg, Virginia.

The regulator awarded the certification after the company’s operations met the safety requirements to qualify for an air carrier certificate.

“Safety continues to be our number one priority as this technology continues to develop and realise its full potential.”

While granting the approval, the FAA considered data and documentation, as well as thousands of safe flights conducted by the company in Australia.

In its submissions to the FAA, Wing Aviation presented data that showed its drone deliveries would pose less risk to pedestrians than deliveries made in a car.

In addition, Wing stated that its all-electric drones will help reduce pollution and carbon emissions.

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US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said: “This is an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy. Safety continues to be our number one priority as this technology continues to develop and realise its full potential.”

Prior to launching a delivery trial later this year, Wing is planning to reach out to the local community and businesses in Blacksburg and Christiansburg to demonstrate the technology and seek feedback.

Earlier this month, the company launched its commercial drone delivery service in Canberra, Australia.

The firm is also set to start its first trial in Europe, delivering to homes in Helsinki, Finland.

The US Transportation Department started the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program in 2017 to bring together government and industry stakeholders to accelerate safe drone integration.

Wing Aviation participated in the programme in partnership with the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership and Virginia Tech.