The number of Holly Springs residents who can order food and other items for drone delivery is about to grow.
The Federal Aviation Administration has given Flytrex permission to double the distance its drones can fly. Since last fall, Flytrex has been making deliveries up to one nautical mile from a base at Holly Springs Towne Center off N.C. 55 Bypass.
Now the FAA says Flytrex can go two nautical miles in any direction. (A nautical mile, measured in the air or on water, is slightly longer than a mile on land.) The expanded territory includes much of the 12 Oaks community and the center of Holly Springs.
The change is part of the federal agency’s gradual expansion of commercial drone activity in the United States. It applies to all four places Flytrex operates, including Fayetteville and Raeford in North Carolina and Granbury, Texas, west of Fort Worth.
Flytrex, a drone manufacturer based in Israel, says the expansion will more than double the number of its potential customers to 100,000 at all four locations.
“Drone delivery at scale is finally taking off,” Flytrex co-founder and CEO Yariv Bash said in a statement. “And this approval from the FAA positions us squarely at the forefront of that movement.”
Flytrex is seeking certification from the FAA to begin making drone deliveries nationwide, which would eventually allow it to make deliveries by air to tens of millions of homes, Bash said.
The drones are operated by North Carolina-based Causey Aviation and follow a pre-programmed route to a customer’s home. The aircraft cruises at an altitude of 230 feet, then descends to about 80 feet before lowering a bag on a tether to the customer’s yard.
People within the delivery territory can use the Flytrex app to order meals, drinks and goods weighing up to 6.6 pounds from participating businesses. Customers don’t pay extra for drone deliveries; Bash says the company’s goal is to make them so inexpensive that restaurants and retailers can easily absorb the cost.
This story was originally published July 28, 2022 9:00 AM.
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