FAA Crashes the Party, Prohibits Beer-Delivery Drone

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 1 2014 1:37 PM

FAA Crashes the Party, Prohibits Beer-Delivery Drone

Ice fishers in Minnesota are mad at the FAA right now after the agency told a regional craft brewer that it had to nix any plans to deliver beer to anglers using an unmanned aerial system. Local brewery Lakemaid was testing out the system and posted a video on YouTube that quickly went viral. As soon as the Federal Aviation Administration got wind of what was happening, it decided to call Lakemaid to tell the company it couldn’t move forward with its plans. Turns out, it’s against the law to use drones for commercial purposes in the United States. Although the FAA is working on new guidelines for unmanned aircraft, drones likely won’t be allowed to take to the skies until 2017, points out CNN.

Lakemaid Beer president Jack Supple tells the Associated Press that Amazon.com boss Jeff Bezos inspired him to look into the possibility of using drones after he said the online retailer was exploring the idea of using the unmanned aircraft to make deliveries. As soon as Supple heard that he thought it could work well with anglers who stay still for days on end in wide open spaces. Plus, they all know their GPS coordinates so ordering the beer would be a breeze. Supple says he’s not giving up and will be ready once the rules change.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.



The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?


Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
Oct. 21 2014 11:44 PM Driving in Circles The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.