Flirtey joined forces last year with the City of Reno and partners such as AirMap and Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority to apply for fast-track designation under the FAA and Department of Transportation’s federal drone testing initiative. The Flirtey group was one of 10 applicants from across the country selected in the highly competitive pilot program, beating out a competing application from the state of Nevada that included heavy hitters such as Amazon.
The life-saving applications of the technology were touted by Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve in her statement following the successful multi-drone test: “One of the key milestones that we needed to achieve to allow us to scale the program is to have one Flirtey pilot operate multiple drones at the same time,” Sweeney said. “To have the FAA come out to see us flying multiple drones and delivering packages is an important proof point that shows this program is succeeding.”
The test used Flirtey’s newest next-generation drone, which can carry heavier payloads for longer distances. The company demonstrated delivery of automated external defibrillators during the test to show the life-saving potential of drone technology in addition to its commercial applications.
With the success of its first multi-drone test, Flirtey says it will continue to work with the FAA and transportation department in order to secure the necessary approvals that will allow the company to start drone delivery, Sweeney said.
The goal is to start offering delivery by drone in Reno and expand it across the country. Flirtey has a partnership with FedEx, for example, that will allow the company to deliver packages by air or have its drones ready to go from FedEx locations.