The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted approval for Israeli drone manufacturer Flytrex and drone services firm Causey Aviation Unmanned to provide a drone-based food delivery service. 

A Flytrex drone makes a delivery overhead.

As part of the FAA’s UAS Integration Pilot Program, Flytrex and Causey will implement their food delivery service in Holly Springs, North Carolina. The program was implemented in Holly Springs with the additional partnership with the N.C. Department of Transportation and the Town of Holly Springs. For now, the drone food delivery service will be limited to Holly Springs, but there could be potential for Flytrex and Causey Aviation to expand throughout North Carolina. 

The service itself will consist of the drones, piloted by Causey Aviation pilots, following a single, fixed route from Kite Realty Group-owned Holly Springs Towne Center to Ting Park, the sports and recreation stadium in Holly Springs. The FAA-approved route was designed with consideration for residents of Holly Springs, mostly taking place over unpopulated areas, and purposefully avoiding adjacent neighborhoods, although it will cross one highway, Route 55. 

Flight path for drone deliveries in Holly Springs. Photo provided by Flytrex and Causey Aviation.

“Regulation is crucial to the future of widespread drone delivery, both for safe operations and public acceptance, which is why we have been working diligently with the FAA to adhere to the highest standards of safety,” said Yariv Bash, CEO and Co-Founder of Flytrex, “We continually strive to reach new heights when it comes to advancing commercial drone use around the world. That is why we are thrilled to have been chosen to work so closely with the FAA to help this pilot take off. This is just the beginning as we expand the possibilities of sky-bound delivery.”

Why it’s important: Drone delivery expansion will be a service tied closely with urban air mobility, as the expansion will most likely involve the development of an Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management system. UAS Traffic Management Systems will be required for both drone delivery and UAM to expand into a large-scale service, making it mutually advantageous for both markets to take off. Flytrex makes for just one of the multiple third party companies competing to enter the US drone food delivery market, but with FAA approval to operate within Holly Springs, could see major success throughout North Carolina and the country if the service takes off. 

Sources // Fox 8

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