Drone delivery system developer Flytrex and jet charter and management company Causey Aviation said they have received FAA approval to begin food deliveries by drone in Holly Springs, North Carolina.

Announced by the companies on Aug. 13, the approval permits flights of Flytrex multirotor drones along a predetermined delivery route between the Holly Springs Towne Center shopping mall and Ting Park, a nearby outdoor sports and recreation facility. The route spans mostly unpopulated areas and crosses Route 55, a state highway.

The flights will be conducted in accordance with the FAA’s Part 107 regulation, including operation within visual line of sight of a remote pilot in command.

Flytrex, based in Tel Aviv, and Causey Aviation Unmanned developed the service under the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program effort led by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Other participants are the town of Holly Springs and Kite Realty Group Trust, which owns and operates the shopping mall.

Flytrex has developed a cargo box-carrying, six-rotor drone capable of flying payloads of up to 6.6 lb. to a distance of 3.5 mi. and back. The aircraft lowers a package to the delivery site from 80 ft. above ground, releases it and returns to its base.

The company said its self-triggered parachute recovery system recently was validated by the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance based on standards developed by ASTM International.

Flytrex initiated drone package deliveries in a suburb of Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2017. The following year, it started delivering food and beverages by drone to golfers at King’s Walk Golf Course in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

“Regulation is crucial to the future of widespread drone delivery, both for safe operations and public acceptance, which is why we have been working diligently with the FAA to adhere to the highest standards of safety,” Yariv Bash, Flytrex co-founder and CEO, said of the North Carolina approval. “This is just the beginning as we expand the possibilities of sky-bound delivery.”

Bill Carey, bill.carey@aviationweek.com