Wisconsin Beer Drones Grounded by FAA

Lakemaid Beer, “the
hottest beer on ice,” arranged for beer-delivering octocopters to
carry 12-packs over frosty lakes to thirsty ice fishers. But as
soon as it learned of Lakemaid’s plan, the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) grounded

Released about a week ago, the Minnesota-based company’s beer
instantly went viral. Drones delivering Wisconsin-brewed beer
rather than targeted killings? Consumers loved the idea.

But the FAA says it isn’t ready for the technology.
The Star Tribune explains:

The nation’s stewards of the air are still studying how to
safely bring drones into modern life, and until then, their
commercial use isn’t permitted.

Meanwhile, Lakemaid president Jack Supple broke his printer
printing all the documents the agency sent him.

When Supple saw Amazon Prime Air commercials he had his doubts.
But he believes Lakemaid is a little different. Supple wasn’t
planning on navigating drones through mazes of skyscrapers and
stoplights. They would traverse open lakes. He explained
to Star

That would be a far better testing ground because
they’re vast and flat and people are in little fish houses out

Eager entrepreneurs have brainstormed a zillion uses for the new
technology. FedEx has toyed around with replacing its delivery
trucks with a drone fleet. Taco deliveries are anticipated in California.

Other countries have already legalized commercial drone use.
South Africa companies have operated beer
drones. China based company InCake started
cakes last July, and the Australian textbook
delivery company Zookal has plans to
drones early this year.

In response to growing enthusiasm for commercial drones, the FAA
released a road map to cautiously guide the country toward safe,
reliable domestic drone use. Administrator Michael Huerta
its integration plan will take five years. The FAA
projects “7,500 unmanned aircraft in the skies within that period
if regulations are in place.” But the roll out is already months
behind schedule.

Entrepreneurs like Jack Supple have to wait for the green light
from the FAA whether or not they’re sure their individual
enterprise is safe.

Watch Lakemaid’s commercial below: 

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