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Drone Delivery Company Flirtey Gets FAA Approval to Fly Drones Beyond Line of Sight to Deliver Automated External Defibrillators

Mon March 11 2019 11:41 am  https://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=575219
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Flirtey, a Reno, Nevada-based drone delivery company, has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct drone delivery flights beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), the City of Reno and Flirtey announced today. The new approval enables Flirtey to conduct drone delivery operations with a pilot controlling the flights from a remote location.



“Flirtey’s industry-leading technology is now approved for drone delivery beyond visual line of sight, a major milestone that brings life-saving and commercial drone delivery another step closer to your doorstep,” said Flirtey Founder and CEO Matthew Sweeny.



Flirtey received BVLOS approval with its next-generation drone, which was specially designed to carry heavier payloads for longer distances, allowing Flirtey to deliver Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and commercial packages.



“The City of Reno is proud to partner with Flirtey, the FAA, and our local IPP partners to enable drone delivery of AEDs to Washoe County residents,” said City of Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve. “Public safety is our top priority, and the use of drones to provide life-saving AED technology to cardiac patients will save lives across our community.”



Flirtey and Reno are participants in the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP), a fast-track regulatory program that accelerates the integration of life-saving and commercial drone operations within the National Airspace System (NAS).



As one of just 10 selected governments for the highly-competitive program, the City of Reno chose Flirtey as its partner to deliver AEDs for the immediate treatment of a person experiencing cardiac arrest, and to pioneer a scalable model for commercial drone delivery.

In October 2017, Flirtey announced a partnership to launch the first automated external defibrillator (AED) drone delivery service in the United States [NO AUDIO].



Cardiac arrest is the leading cause of natural death in the United States. For every minute that a person experiencing cardiac arrest waits to receive defibrillation, his or her odds of survival decrease by about 10 percent. Deploying AEDs via drones can increase the average cardiac arrest survival rate from just 10 percent, to approximately 47 percent.



Based on historical data, just one Flirtey delivery drone carrying an AED has the potential to save at least one life every two weeks in Reno. Deployed nationwide, Flirtey’s AED drone delivery service has the potential to save more than 100,000 lives per year and more than 1 million American lives over each decade to come.

In May 2018, the FAA announced 10 Integration Pilot Program (IPP) drone programs, including Flirtey, to expand permissions for specific FAA permits due to airspace regulations. Flirtey is working with four of the winning applicants selected by the IPP program and will use drones as a first response to 911 calls in Reno, Nevada by delivering Automated External Defibrillators ahead of ambulances in heart attack cases. The rapid response of the drones would allow Good Samaritans and citizen rescuers to deliver apply an AED, which would deliver a life-saving shock if necessary.





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The 10 government agencies involved in the IPP drone programs are …

Chocktaw Nation of Oklahoma
(Usage: infrastructure inspections, public safety and agriculture)

City of San Diego
(Usage: border security and food delivery use cases, but will have a “secondary focus” on surveillance, international commerce and integration with smart city systems)

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority in Herndon, Virginia
(Usage: rural and urban package delivery with cybersecurity component)

Kansas Department of Transportation
(Usage: “precision agriculture” in rural areas)

Lee County Florida Mosquito Control District
(Usage: a larger than usual drone for surveillance and control missions on mosquitoes)

Memphis-Shelby County, Tennessee Airport Authority
(Usage: package delivery, aircraft inspections, perimeter surveillance in association with FedEx and other local partners)

North Carolina Department of Transportation
(Usage: package delivery emphasizing the ability to serve small businesses)

North Dakota Department of Transportation
(Usage: data gathering to study external systems, aircraft system technologies, training needs and processes and procedures)

Reno, Nevada
(Usage: drone medical deliveries, including AEDs)

University of Alaska Fairbanks
(Usage: pipeline inspection and remote surveying under harsh conditions)

Conducting the first multi-drone delivery demonstration under the FAA’s Drone Integration Pilot Program, a single Flirtey pilot simultaneously operated multiple Flirtey drones and simulated the delivery of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in the presence of the FAA (Published September 24, 2018).

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