Drone Delivery Services on the Rise During Pandemic
Drone delivery services have taken off over the past two years during the Covid-19 pandemic. As the virus swept into Virginia and people became confined to their homes, the need for efficient, contact-free delivery of goods became vital for many.
This was especially evident in Christiansburg, Virginia where three short drone flights became a test for the future of aviation just six months prior to the beginning of the pandemic. The flights were a result of years of research and testing by the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP), an FAA-designated drone test site and Wing, the drone delivery arm of Google parent company Alphabet.
Anyone following drone integration in the country was watching as Wing’s service in Christiansburg was the first in the U.S. to deliver goods directly to residences on demand. It was a safe, secure and beneficial way for the community to have packages delivered in minutes.
The convenience of contact-free deliveries of food, over-the-counter-medicine, and other necessities benefited both customers and business owners during the height of the pandemic. Orders jumped by five times the amount as drone delivery gave the businesses a new revenue stream that helped offset the drop in foot traffic.
The biggest question for many was whether drone services would continue to be used once stay-at-home orders expired and life slowly returned back to normalcy. As Wing’s service in Christiansburg stayed busy, the answer was clear that drone usage was genuinely useful.
The overwhelming success of the program in Christiansburg has caused Wing to indicate that it will expand in the U.S. soon. Drone delivery service has been an innovative way for people to learn about and interact with aviation. Even in the most challenging of times throughout the pandemic, drones greatly improved the lives of people in the community.