Wing in Australia
Wing is an initiative from Alphabet, that uses delivery drones to provide an innovative new service. Wing envisions a future where drone delivery is the safest, fastest and most environmentally friendly mode of transport, and everyone can benefit from having small items available to them in just minutes, at home or wherever they may be.

We started in 2012 with the goal of radically improving delivery. We believed that if people could access items when and where they need them, they could live a higher quality of life, with more choice and freedom. We began building an aircraft to deliver defibrillators to heart attack victims, with the hope that lives could be saved if the devices arrived faster by air, but we quickly learned that drone technology would first need to be proven exceedingly reliable and dependable through years of development and testing. We also believed it would be important to deliver a wider range of benefits to communities, such as reduced traffic congestion and a cleaner environment.
 
With that in mind, we have been honing our technology in Australia since 2014, trialling a system to conveniently transport small packages quickly. For the past 18 months, we’ve been trialling in the customer experience of drone delivery with residents in ACT and NSW, partnering with businesses to provide food and drinks, over-the-counter chemist items, and locally-made coffee and chocolate.

Wing is now planning to set up its first ongoing delivery facility in Mitchell, Gungahlin. We are excited to start a new chapter of our journey in Mitchell and look forward to talking to you about what such a drone delivery service might look like here in your neighbourhood. To start, we’ll be talking to residents in the suburbs of Franklin, Harrison, Crace, Palmerston and Gungahlin.
Bringing items quickly to people when they need them the most
The purpose of our trials to-date has been to determine how we could create a service that Canberrans will find convenient and useful, and the feedback we’ve received has been very helpful. So far we’ve seen that the hundreds of testers who’ve participated in the trials love the convenience of our service.
Bringing items quickly to people when they need them the most
It has also made their lives easier and given them greater choice: choice not to load sick children into the car to pick up something from the chemist, choice to have bread delivered at a moment’s notice for school lunches, and choice to have a weekly treat - coffee, scones, burritos - without ducking out to the shops. And for the 13,000 disabled and 6,700 elderly people living in the ACT, drone delivery will help make Canberra a more accessible place to live.
Medicine when you need it
I thought I had Panadol in the house, but one morning I didn’t. I ended up having to put a miserable 20 month old in the car, when it could have been avoided. Having the Wing app would have been a lifesaver.
–Bonython Tester
Reducing traffic in cities and making delivery more environmentally-friendly
Drone delivery has the potential to make the streets of Canberra safer and more accessible. Modeling we have commissioned estimates that drone delivery could reduce traffic congestion in the ACT by as much as 35 million vehicle kilometres each year. This could also mean the avoidance of up to 70 road accidents annually.
Reducing traffic in cities and making delivery more environmentally-friendly
Drone delivery is a much greener delivery alternative to cars and trucks. Road transportation accounts for 69% of the ACT’s greenhouse gas emissions (compared with only 16% nationally), and replacing some of those road journeys with delivery drones could have a significant environmental impact.
Meals delivered quickly and in a more eco-friendly way
The average time for delivery is between 6 -10 mins, much quicker than if I was to drive to the supermarket.
–Bonython Tester
Quick numbers on our current trial in Bonython
1500+
deliveries have been made to hundreds of testers in Bonython since we began our service in July this year
93%
of our testers are very or extremely satisfied with our service. Also 93% of our testers have a very to extremely favourable view towards drones as a technology for delivering goods after using our service
4x
more coffees are ordered by Wing’s testers in Bonython than the next most ordered item. Bonython residents love their flat whites and cappuccinos!
2:43
minutes is the quickest time from order to delivery that we have achieved in Bonython
Expanding the reach of local businesses
Wing is helping many Canberra businesses reach more customers in more communities. If you are a local business owner interested in participating in our service, get in touch!
Expanding the reach of local businesses
Independent research suggests drone delivery could see $10-15 million in new transactions accrue to small businesses in the ACT. It also estimates drone delivery would reduce delivery costs for ACT retailers by as much as $12 million per year, with a significant portion of that benefit going to small and medium-sized businesses.
A quicker way to deliver goods to your customers
Drone delivery means that I can get product to my customer when they need it. The average time has been about 3 - 4 minutes between them placing the order and getting to the door.
–Bakers Delight
Serving new customers
Jasper and Myrtle is delighted to be part of Project Wing, sharing a passion for innovation and quality service. The Wing drones deliver our chocolates in perfect condition to customers minutes after ordering.
–Jasper & Myrtle
How does Wing delivery work?
Using Wing’s delivery app, testers can order a range of food, chemist and household items, and have them delivered by drone.
 
How do people order these items?
When we introduce service to new areas, customers in those areas will be able to download the Wing app on their smartphone, and order products during available hours. We typically roll out to new areas gradually, adding small groups of new customers over time in order to deliver the best customer experience we can.
What will you be delivering?
Wing is partnering with a range of local businesses to provide food and drinks, over-the-counter chemist items, and locally-made small goods. Stay tuned for more details about our service in the coming weeks!
How can someone become a participating tester?
Our delivery test is currently only available to those in our test area in Bonython. As we move into our new site in Mitchell, and after several months of engagement with the surrounding communities, we will look to offer service in our new delivery area. We will update this site when we are ready to offer service to new areas.

If you want to find out more and get involved, we’ve got a form on our website where you can sign up to register your interest - www.wing.com/get-involved
Wing in Mitchell - FAQs
We are excited to start a new chapter of our journey in Mitchell and look forward to talking to you about what such a drone delivery service might look like here in your neighbourhood.
 
What are our plans at Mitchell?
With a longer-term site in Mitchell, Wing hopes to showcase what a future of faster, safer and more environmentally responsible delivery service looks like. As the first location in Australia from which Wing will have ongoing operations, Wing’s Mitchell site will co-locate drone operations with a small number of food merchants, health and over-the-counter medicine merchants, as well as products from small businesses from the Mitchell and Gungahlin area. Co-locating these merchants next to a drone charging area will allow Wing to provide a better service to customers, minimise drone flight times, and create more economic opportunities for local businesses.
Why Mitchell?
After trialling our operations from greenfield sites throughout 2017-2018, we are excited to move to an industrial site for longer-term operations. After an extensive assessment of industrial locations, we identified Mitchell as the best location to establish this first-of-its-kind delivery facility.
How many drones will you fly from Mitchell?
As we start flying drones from our site in Mitchell, we anticipate we will gradually increase our flights from current levels of roughly 30-50 flights a day. We anticipate the numbers of drones will initially be quite limited and this number will increase as more residents are able to use the service.
How much noise do your drones make?
Our drones are quieter than a range of noises you would experience in a suburb but they make unique sound that people are unlikely to be familiar with. Residents in our most recent trial area have asked that we improve the sound of our drone, and in response to that feedback, we’re developing new, quieter and lower-pitched propellers for our drone. We’ve also made modifications to our routes to distribute flight paths, and we’ve slowed down our drones to reduce the sound they make in flight.
What times will you fly?

Based on our trial in Bonython, we’ve developed service times that balance the convenience of our service with the community’s expectations of drone delivery.

Our anticipated hours of operations for flights from Mitchell are:

  • 7 am to 7 pm weekdays
  • 8 am to 7 pm Saturdays and Sundays / public holidays

In line with other warehouse operations, we would expect to resupply the warehouse outside of these times. Part of the benefit of operating out of an industrial zone is our logistical activities, such as resupplying the warehouse, will not disturb nearby communities.

How can I find out more and have my say?
Over the next few months, we’ll be talking to residents in the suburbs of Franklin, Harrison, Crace, Palmerston and Gungahlin to get their views on drone delivery to best understand where and how we should operate our drone delivery service in Gungahlin. Please feel free to contact us by using one of the below of the methods outlined below.
How do you know these drones are safe?
Wing’s delivery drones are the safest way to transport goods; they are safer for the community than delivery by truck or car. Our approach to safety is world leading: our safety testing is more extensive than that undertaken for some manned aircraft. We have multiple levels of redundancy built into our operations, including real-time systems that conduct safety checks on our drones. The pilots that oversee the operations of these autonomous aircraft are qualified manned aircraft pilots.
Do your drones have cameras?

Wing’s aircraft convert GPS signals into latitude and longitude to determine location and speed. The aircraft also have a number of redundant systems on board for operation and navigation, among them a downward-facing camera used as a backup to GPS navigation. If the GPS is unavailable for any reason, the camera measures speed, latitude and longitude in its place.

The camera is used exclusively for navigation, it doesn’t capture video and is not available in real time. The data the camera captures is a low-resolution and greyscale format, and is only available to a small group of engineers for the purpose of analyzing safety and performance criteria. Wing takes privacy extremely seriously and actively avoids capturing any more data than is necessary for the safe operation of its drones.

How close do the drones get to people?
In Bonython we have been operating with permissions that require that testers remain at least 2 metres away from the drones. Due to the accuracy of our drone delivery system, this distance ensures we can deliver to testers in a location that is convenient for them while maintaining the highest level of safety. Another key feature of our delivery system is our testers do not interact with the drone. The aircraft hovers around 7 metres above the ground, lowers the package to the ground on a line, and then the package unloads itself. With the help of gravity the package disconnects from the line (which is then wound back up) and the drone flies back on home.
Where will Wing deliver to?
In our trials, we have found it best to take a gradual approach to making our service available. Over the next few months we will be talking to residents in the suburbs of Franklin, Harrison, Crace, Palmerston and Gungahlin to get their views on drone delivery to better understand where and how we should operate our drone delivery service in the area. We would love to hear from you regardless of where you live - sign up for updates on our service here.
Who have the operations in Bonython been approved by?
Like all drone and aircraft operators, Wing is regulated by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). To operate in suburbs Wing must meet the highest international standards of safety and all operations can only be performed with CASA’s approval.
What will you deliver from your Mitchell site?
So far, we have partnered with businesses to provide food, over-the-counter chemist items, and locally-made coffee and chocolate, but we’re keen to hear from you on what you would find helpful. Please get in touch and let us know what you think!
Can local businesses get onboard?
We are excited to speak with local businesses in Gungahlin and Mitchell about how we can help them reach more customers faster, safer and more sustainably. We have been encouraged by our interactions with the local business community in Mitchell and Gungahlin and look forward to being a part of this vibrant local business scene. If you are a local business owner, get in touch!
What did you learn in your trials in Bonython and Royalla?

Over the course of the trial we’ve successfully delivered thousands of goods to suburban households more quickly, safely and conveniently, and with far less a carbon footprint than would otherwise be possible, including chemist items to elderly testers, or parents whose children are sick and sunscreen when needed at a moment’s notice; hot meals to shift workers and others on tight schedules, and we’ve heard feedback from a number of customers who, for a range of reasons, benefit from not having to leave their home for food and small household items.

We’ve also received feedback from the Bonython communityabout the sound of our delivery drones. Our drones are quieter than a range of noises you would experience in a suburb but they make a unique sound that people are unlikely to be familiar with. Residents in our most recent trial area have asked that we improve the sound of our drone, and in response to that feedback, we’re developing new, quieter and lower-pitched propellers for our drone. We’ve also made modifications to our routes to distribute flight paths, and we’ve slowed down our drones to reduce the sound they make in flight.

Get in touch
Have questions, suggestions or want to learn more?
 
Where can I speak to a Wing team member?
We are currently conducting a range of events in the community to collect input and feedback. Our team will be at the Gunghalin Marketplace (outside Woolworths) on the following days:
  • Tuesday, 11 December, 10:00am – 2:00pm; 3:00pm – 6:00pm
  • Wednesday, 12 December, 10:00am – 2:00pm
  • Monday, 17 December, 10:00am – 2:00pm; 3:00pm – 6:00pm
  • Tuesday, 18 December, 10:00am – 2:00pm
How can I provide feedback to Wing?
How can I find out if I can participate in Wing’s service?
Please fill out this form and we’ll keep you informed of opportunities.