FAA Approves BVLOS Drone Delivery of Defibrillators

Published: 12 Mar 2019

Flirtey defibrillator delivery drone

Flirtey has announced that it has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct drone delivery flights beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), in order to deliver Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in Washoe County, Nevada.

“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 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.

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 lives over each decade to come.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passions for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years.