Brewery’s Drone Delivery Plan Grounded
A Wisconsin brewery’s inventive plan to deliver beer via drone was halted by the Federal Aviation Administration shortly after it got off the ground. Lakemaid Beer, of Stevens Point, WI, tested out a new drone delivery system in January, airlifting a 12-pack of its Frosty Winter Ale to a fishing shanty on Minnesota’s Lake Mille Lacs. The delivery, which was captured in a YouTube video that quickly went viral, was a success—but short-lived.
Lakemaid Beer President Jack Supple told The Associated Press that he believes the FAA was tipped off when an FAA inspector overheard the transmission on the radio. Because it is currently against the law for drones to be used for commercial use or above 400 feet, the FAA contacted Supple and told him to shut it down.
A White House petition to allow for the FAA to issue an “Airworthiness Certificate for Beer Drones (BUAV’s),” or unmanned aerial vehicles, was set up shortly after the operation was shut down. Supple still hopes to pursue drone delivery, he told AP. In the meantime, he will have to hold off while the FAA works on commercial drone flight legislation—which won’t be ready until at least 2015.