Flytrex Aviation Ltd. today said it is expanding its drone delivery service in Fayetteville, N.C., after receiving approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate its drone systems above people. The Tel Aviv, Israel-based company said the FAA waiver will allow it to make the largest-scale backyard drone deliveries to date.
With more than 50 years of aerospace and defense experience, Flytrex claimed that its direct-to-consumer service lets retailers and quick-service restaurants (QSRs) cater to a wider customer base with faster, safer, and cheaper deliveries than ever before. The company added that it is helping to set new drone safety standards and regulations, as well as to bring simpler, quicker, and greener autonomous delivery.
Flytrex works with regulators
From 2018 to 2020, Flytrex participated in the FAA's Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP). The company continued with the FAA’s subsequent BEYOND and worked with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), the Kansas Department of Transportation, and the North Dakota Department of Transportation to address UAS integration challenges.
“The FAA approval is important to expanding on-demand drone delivery throughout the U.S. in compliance with the highest possible safety standards,” stated Yariv Bash, co-founder and CEO of Flytrex. “Through this expansion, we will be able to glean valuable insight into usage and customer preferences, allowing us to further tailor our offering to meet consumer needs. With the ongoing help of the FAA, drone delivery will soon become the rule rather than the exception.”
“Being 'First in Flight,' North Carolina is renowned for its contribution to aviation history,” said Bobby Walston, aviation director at NCDOT. “In working with our UAS partners over the past several years, we’ve seen the impressive advances these companies have made spearheading on-demand drone delivery in the U.S., and this latest groundbreaking approval is another milestone in that journey.”
Bringing drone deliveries to more homes
In September 2020, Flytrex and Walmart announced a pilot project to bring backyard drone delivery to Fayetteville. They said its goal was to explore how drones can deliver items from a Walmart store to customers in a way that’s convenient, fast, and safe – from picking and packing to takeoff and arrival. The new expansion will enable a larger number of homes in the city to use the drone delivery service, said the company.
Deliveries will be made in cooperation with long-time partner Causey Aviation Unmanned as part of the waiver, offering food, drinks, and other goods to thousands of eligible households in the area that can opt into the service. Flytrex said it will conduct all flights within line of sight to maintain safety standards.
“Flytrex shares our passion and commitment to bringing the immense benefits of unmanned aerial delivery to the public responsibly and safely,” said Jeff Causey, founder and CEO of Causey Aviation. “We are thrilled to announce this benchmark approval with them and to continue providing swift and safe deliveries to an expanding number of households in North Carolina and beyond.”
Households will be able to purchase a wide variety of goods from the neighborhood Walmart store, as well as local restaurants and cafés. Orders can be placed using the Flytrex app, which updates customers regarding their order status along the route until the package is lowered by wire safely into their backyards.