Every few weeks this year seems to bring developments that inch us closer and closer to the reality of drone deliveries becoming a main stream option. Well if the earlier developments inched us closer to drone deliveries, this week's latest FAA approval is moving us miles ahead in the development of drone deliveries. Just this week, the FAA granted approval for a drone food delivery pilot in Holly Springs, NC. This town of just under 37,000 people will have the ability to order takeout from Holly Springs Town Center and have it delivered to the town’s sports and recreation stadium, Ting Park. To begin with, the delivery approval is limited to one drone at a time, the pilot must maintain visual line of sight of the drone, and flights may occur only during daylight hours.
This cutting edge development for the NC town of Holly Springs follows on the heels of the FAA granting approval to Alphabet’s Wing Aviation for drone delivery from commercial businesses to personal residences. Wing also shared that they have already flown 70,000 test flights and made 3,000 deliveries in Australia. In July of this year, UPS announced their new subsidiary, Flight Forward Inc., has also filed an application with the FAA for drone deliveries. Just this week, Federal Register filings show that Amazon has also filed for FAA approval to provide drone delivery in the US.
There are still a lot of moving parts and many milestones to achieve along the way for drone delivery in the US. In the meantime, it is immediately clear that the collaboration of the FAA and other organizations is gaining significant traction to leverage drones for package and food delivery as these companies race to employ this game changing technology.
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