We think drone-powered beer deliveries are the bright, happy future of drone technology, but to the disappoint of ice fishermen and other Americans alike, the government disagrees.
The Federal Aviation Administration struck down the hopes of anyone hoping to sell or buy beer via drone, after Minnesota brewery Lakemaid Beer offered the service in a dreamy ad:
It's currently still illegal to use drones for commercial purposes, but Lakemaid Beer President Jack Supple told the New York Daily News he had hoped to avoid government censure by offering to send beer to frozen-lake-bound-ice-fishers for free. Supple said he received two phone calls from the agency this week, adding "I'm on the FAA blacklist for now... they're not too happy with me." Despite the calls and a multi-page document informing Supple of the laws he'd violated, the brewery is still showing the ad on the front page of its website.
Supple added that he was inspired by Amazon's announcement that it planned on using drones to make deliveries. He told NPR that he thought the remote location and small circumference of his delivery-area would mean he could being operations now without bugging the FAA:
"We were a little surprised at the FAA interest in this since we thought we were operating under the 400-foot limit," Supple says via email. He adds that the beer-makers "figured a vast frozen lake was a lot safer place than [what] Amazon was showing on 60 Minutes."
NPR reports that beer has been delivered via drone before, but never in the U.S. But beer enthusiasts have started a petition that calls for the FAA to overturn the decision, and allow alcohol back into American airspace. If the robots are going to take over, at least they can booze us up first.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.