City of Reno, Flirtey complete first flights under FAA Drone Integration Pilot Program
The City of Reno and Flirtey announced on Wednesday, Sept. 12, that they have successfully completed their first flights in the FAA’s Drone Integration Pilot Program, which is fast-tracking regulatory approvals for drone delivery.
According to the city, conducting the first multi-drone delivery demonstration under the FAA’s IPP, a single Flirtey pilot simultaneously operated multiple Flirtey drones and simulated the delivery of automated external defibrillators in the presence of the FAA.
They were conducted under a regulatory waiver allowing the operation of multiple small unmanned aircraft systems by one pilot, granted to Flirtey based on its leading safety systems and advanced technology.
“Flirtey just demonstrated deliveries with multiple drones per pilot for the first time, which is a major milestone toward scaling drone delivery nationwide,” said Flirtey Founder and CEO Matthew Sweeny. “We’re excited to be working with our partners and the FAA to save lives and improve lifestyles with Flirtey’s drone delivery.”
The flights were conducted using Flirtey’s next-generation drone, which was specially designed to carry heavier payloads for longer distances — allowing Flirtey to deliver medicine and commercial packages quickly and more efficiently.
As one of just 10 selected governments for the highly competitive program, the City of Reno chose to partner with Flirtey to deliver AEDs to cardiac arrest patients to save lives as well as pioneer a scalable model for commercial drone delivery.
“The City of Reno is proud to partner with Flirtey, the FAA, and our local IPP partners to test 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 could reduce the number of deaths from cardiac arrest in northern Nevada.”
According to the city, Cardiac arrest is the leading cause of natural death not only in Reno, but in the U.S. For every minute that a cardiac arrest patient waits to receive defibrillation, their odds of survival decrease by about 10 percent per minute.
Deploying AEDs via drones can increase the cardiac arrest survival rate of Washoe County residents from just 10 percent today, to approximately 47 percent.
The City of Reno IPP team includes: Flirtey, Reno Police Department and Reno Fire Department, Washoe County, City of Sparks and Sparks Fire Department, FedEx, Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority (REMSA), Alpine Insurance, Northern Nevada Medical Center, The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, Truckee Meadows Community College, Carson Fire Department, Iris Automation, AirMap, T-Mobile and The American Red Cross.
The coalition will continue to work with the Department of Transportation and FAA to secure necessary regulatory approvals to perform UAS delivery of AEDs to residents of Washoe County.