Once upon a time, some mad genius from a Minnesota Micro Brewery decided to create a drone that delivered beer to ice fishermen across frozen lakes. They posted their promotional videos on YouTube showing the initial test flights across mid-sized lakes and the world began to rejoice at the thought that one day, drones could deliver beer to our private homes. It’s like Santa Claus for the drinking world.
But then, the big dark cloud known as the Federal Aviation Administration got involved and our dreams of drones dropping six packs on our front steps were shattered.
The FAA called up the brewery and told them to ground their drones. Apparently they thought it was a funny idea, but also a major violation of certain rules. Right now, using drones for commercial purposes is illegal and the regulations governing commercial drones won’t be issued until next year. They’re going to evaluate potential uses of unmanned aircrafts and figure out a way to make them work in the national airspace.
The owner of the brewery feels his idea still has legs, whenever the FAA decides he can operate legally. He knows that urban areas provide a lot of challenges for drone delivery, but his delivery area is wide-open without any trees or power lines – just lots of thirsty fishermen that could use a brew or two. There’s also the matter of being sure a GPS-piloted drone delivers beer to the right person and not an underage drinker, but at this rate, he’s got plenty of time to work out the kinks.
So is beer drone delivery service really something we can look forward to in the future? We’d normally be a little skeptical, but Amazon has been talking about drone delivery service as well and god knows they have the money and manpower to figure out how to make it work. We’re going to let Amazon figure out the logistics and then hopefully reap the benefits one beer at a time.