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Flytrex grows drone delivery service 150% with new FAA approval

Delivery radius expands from 1 to 2 nautical miles

With FAA approval, Flytrex doubled its delivery radius and added 60,000 eligible customers (Photo: Flytrex)

Sixty thousand people just became eligible to have chicken wings, submarine sandwiches, ice cream and more air-dropped straight into their backyards.

Israeli drone delivery firm Flytrex, which operates commercial services in both Texas and North Carolina, on Thursday announced that the Federal Aviation Administration has approved the doubling of its delivery radius from 1 to 2 nautical miles. That opens the service up to 100,000 people, a 150% increase over the 40,000 who were previously eligible.

Flytrex will continue to make deliveries with longtime partner Causey Aviation Unmanned. It has three drone delivery stations in the towns of Fayetteville, Raeford and Holly Springs, North Carolina. The company also recently expanded to add a fourth hub in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Granbury, Texas.

Read: FAA greenlights Flytrex for 1-mile drone deliveries in North Carolina

Read: Flying Fudgsicles: Flytrex delivering ice cream by drone

“This approval allows us to reach roughly 100,000 customers with our ultrafast delivery, and we look forward to continuing this exciting flight path to one day bring three-minute delivery to the tens of millions of backyards across the U.S.,” said Yariv Bash, co-founder and CEO of Flytrex.

Flytrex’s delivery drone is purpose-built for last-mile delivery. Some drones are capable of flying hundreds of miles, carrying 50 pounds of payload or going 24 hours on a single charge, but Flytrex doesn’t need to do any of that. Instead, its drone is tailored for speedy suburban deliveries, with a capacity of 6.5 pounds and a flight radius of 5 miles round trip.

The company has worked alongside the FAA for a few years now as part of its Integration Pilot Program and the subsequent Beyond program, two initiatives designed to speed the integration of drones into U.S. airspace. Last December, the agency greenlit Flytrex for deliveries beyond the operator’s line of sight, which is the limit enforced under federal law.

Watch: Delivering everything with drones

While that represented a major milestone for Flytrex, the good news just kept rolling in. In March, the FAA officially granted an airworthiness certification to Flytrex’s FTX-M600P drone, one of three key steps toward having its drones be treated the same as a passenger airliner under federal regulations. That process began back in November 2020.

As the FAA regulations have come along, Flytrex has also been steadily building its portfolio of delivery partners. The company started out strong with a Walmart partnership in September 2020, later expanding to deliver Dairy Queen Blizzards and Starbucks coffee, which got people online buzzing about the service.

But in the past nine months, Flytrex has hit another gear. Since October, the company has signed deals with Brinker International’s It’s Just Wings, Jersey Mike’s and Unilever’s The Ice Cream Shop, among other national and local brands.

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Jack Daleo

Jack is a staff writer for FreightWaves and Modern Shipper covering topics like last mile delivery and e-commerce fulfillment. He studied at Northwestern University, majoring in journalism with a certificate in integrated marketing communications. Previously, Jack has written for Backpacker Magazine and enjoys travel, the outdoors, and all things basketball.