Same-Day Flowers by Drone? Not on the FAA’s WatchBy: Josh Wolford - February 14, 2014
The Federal Aviation Administration has put the kibosh on one Commerce Township-based flower delivery company’s plans to deliver bouquets by flying drone.
FlowerDeliveryExpress.com CEO Wesley Berry says that the FAA recently told them to shut down their new drone delivery pilot program, which is still in beta.
“Unfortunately, we can no longer conduct testing of delivering flowers by drone,” said Berry. “However, the good news is that this technology is here to stay. When the time is right, we’ll be ready for orders to be delivered, not by an address, but by GPS coordinates. It’s exciting to plan the future of the business based on this emerging technology.”
Of course, Berry could be right when it comes to the technology having a long shelf life.
You may remember Amazon recently unveiling a short video showing their new test product in action. Through Amazon’s drone delivery program, Amazon Prime Air, the company says they can deliver packages weighing up to 5 pounds anywhere in a 10-mile radius of fulfillment centers. Jeff Bezos says that this means 86% of Amazon’s daily deliveries are within the range of these drones.
It’s not just Amazon that’s thinking about employing drones to do delivery work – other carriers like UPS as well as various pizza chains are also interested.
You can still sign up for Flower Delivery Express’ drone beta program on their website. Of course, the program is going to have to take a rest until regulations change or the FAA grants the company a special permit to operate “commercial” drones.
“The company is recruiting for their consumer focus groups to beta test drone delivery services. Participants will receive products for free and, at, or below cost products in exchange for providing valuable feedback that will help drive future floral products and services,” says Flower Delivery Express in explaining the pilot drone program.
They had intended to deliver free rose bouquets to participants today, Valentine’s Day.
As of late, the FAA is surely making a habit of taking commercial drones out of the sky. Last month, the administration stopped a small Wisconsin brewery from delivering beer to ice fisherman via drones.
The current law on this states thats recreational drone use is cool, but as soon as it becomes “commercial” the FAA goes full regulation mode. GigaOm has good breakdown of the current drone law situation.
But for now, the FAA isn’t feeling the love–even on Valentine’s Day.
“Cupid’s wings have been clipped!” said Berry.
Image via YouTube