Ice fishing beer delivery drone banned
6th February, 2014 by Lauren Eads
A brewery has been banned from using a drone to deliver beer to ice fishers on the frozen lakes of Minnesota.
Local brewery Lakemaid had been testing a new drone delivery system which airlifted frosty cases of beer to fishermen holed up in ice shacks on Mille Lacs Lake.
A video of a drone delivering a package to the fisherman went viral viral last week.
However unfortunately for the brewery, it was seen by The Federal Aviary Administration who swiftly contacted Lakemaid and asked them to stop its unusual delivery system, according to a report by cnn.com.
In the US it is currently against the law to fly drones for commercial purposes or above 400 feet, leaving thirsty fisherman to go without.
FAA spokesperson Elizabeth Cory, said: “While we are evaluating many potential uses of unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs] as we move toward their safe integration into the nation’s airspace, commercial operation of such aircraft is not yet allowed.”
The FAA said it was currently working on a set of rules and regulations that will pave the way for commercial drone flight, but the legislation won’t be ready until at least 2015 with drones unlikely to be legally in the US skies until 2017.
A petition on WhiteHouse.gov has already been started asking the Obama administration to issue Lakemaid an airworthiness certificate which has so far gained 183 signatures.
Delivering goods by drone has proven to be a popular publicity stunt for US companies over the past year with Amazon announcing plans for a drone delivery system.
In June, the Domino’s pizza chain said it too was developing a drone capable of delivering up to two pizzas.
Once FAA regulations are in place, interested companies will have to apply for a formal license to use a drone with a spokesperson for the FAA citing that they would be concerned about falling objects or reckless operation.