Wing's drones to launch into Canberra's north by the end of the week

Wing's household delivery drones will launch into Canberra's northern suburbs by the end of the week Photo: Karleen Minney.
Wing's household delivery drones will launch into Canberra's northern suburbs by the end of the week Photo: Karleen Minney.

Imagine food, coffee, pharmacy items and even golf equipment delivered to your home by drone.

Well, it's coming this week - in Canberra.

Wing's controversial household delivery drone service will launch into Canberra's northern suburbs by the end of this week, after approval by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. 

Drone deliveries of specific goods will initially be offered to 100 homes in Crace, Palmerston and Franklin, before expanding to Harrison and Gungahlin in the coming months.  

The drones will launch from Wing's new base, a refurbished warehouse on Vicars Street, Mitchell.

Approval for Wing's world-first permanent operation is a major milestone for the Google-linked company, which has been refining its delivery drone service during trials across the Canberra region. 

A six-month trial in Bonython last year divided the local community, with concerns about noise, intrusion of privacy and a lack of regulation prompting an ACT Assembly inquiry.

The inquiry heard Wing's drones flew without major incident during the Bonython trial. But it has exposed widespread uncertainty about the regulation of drone noise. The ACT government, Air Services Australia and Civil Aviation Safety Authority all distanced themselves from oversight of drone noise during the inquiry's public hearings. 

Wing last month unveiled a new quieter model drone, which it hopes will appease community concerns about noise. 

We're excited to connect with more local businesses in the Gungahlin area about how we can help them reach more customers faster, safer and more sustainably.

Wing's head of Australian operations Terrance Bouldin-Johnson

Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman Peter Gibson said Wing would be required to fly the quieter model drone as a condition of approval for Gungahlin operation. 

Wing's drones will also be banned from flying over crowds, and aren't allowed to make deliveries to people before 7am on weekdays and 8am on weekends, under the terms of the approval. 

Mr Gibson said Wing was also only permitted to deliver to people who had signed up to the service, and had been made aware about safety approvals. 

Project Wing chief executive James Burgess with the new drone last month.

Project Wing chief executive James Burgess with the new drone last month.

The head of Wing's Australian operations, Terrance Bouldin-Johnson, said Kickstart Espresso, Capital Chemist, Pure Gelato, Jasper + Myrtle, Bakers Delight, Guzman y Gomez and Drummond Golf had already signed up to deliver their products as part of the service. 

"We're excited to connect with more local businesses in the Gungahlin area about how we can help them reach more customers faster, safer and more sustainably," Mr Bouldin-Johnson said. 

"Whether you're a parent with a sick child at home and have run out of baby paracetamol, a busy professional who forgot to pick up fresh bread during your regular weekly shop, or you simply just want to order your morning flat white without the hassle of having to drive to the cafe, Wing has teamed up with local Canberra businesses to give customers the opportunity to have a range of goods delivered in a handful of minutes."

Further research from consultant AlphaBeta estimated that there could be 5.6 million drone deliveries in the ACT by 2030.  

Canberra Times