Christiansburg, VA – Christiansburg will be the home to the first U.S. trial location for drone delivery.
Wing, a Google subsidiary, was the first the drone delivery system to receive the Air Carrier Certification from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). They have also partnered with the Commonwealth of Virginia to work on federal, state, and local policies surrounding unmanned systems. Additionally, they collaborated with the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP) to conduct hundreds of drone deliveries to staff and students at Virginia Tech in 2016 and in 2017 as part of NASA and the FAA’s unmanned traffic management system testing.
“I believe unmanned technology has the potential to fundamentally transform our economy and our lives — and southwest Virginia is poised to be at the forefront.” – Senator Mark Warner
They have selected a location in Christiansburg off Welcome Street, near Lowe’s, however have not released what type of deliveries or what neighborhoods will receive the deliveries. Wing has stated that they plan to be launching by the end of the year, with hopes for the first launch coming this Fall.
The goal is to partner with local retailers to conduct deliveries through the use of an app where customers can place their order and then receive it at their doorstep in a small cardboard box. The company has said that the drone can fly up to 6 miles from the original location which means they could theoretically reach well beyond Interstate 81 to the south of its nest and north of the Drillfield on Tech’s campus.
Read more about all the cool partnerships Wing has in Australia and Finland, their existing locations, HERE.
Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”
Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.