A story appropriate for this special day:
LaMar’s Donuts, appropriately from the Mile High City and just days before National Donut Day, delivered donuts to the city’s mayor. Check out a video about the delivery here:
Drone Dispatch performed the delivery on behalf of LaMar’s, and in the video they state that it was all done legally. Based on their website, I’m assuming they are operating under Part 107, but I’ve reached out to them to find out more. Since Denver’s airport is well outside of the city, I believe they are operating in Class G airspace, but it is clearly a congested area and over people so a waiver under §§ 107.200 and 107.205 of the §107.39 (Operation Over People) provision would have been required. Note, however, that they likely also needed prior authorization from ATC because they are within the “lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport” under §107.41. I’m assuming that given the short distance of the flight (less than a mile as the crow flies, if from LaMar’s on 6th to City Hall), that they had eyes on the UAS the entire time IAW §107.
Also, remember that §107.23(b) allows objects to be dropped as long as it does not create an “undue hazard to persons or property.” However, from the video it appears that a Drone Dispatch employee actually took the bag from the drone, so it wasn’t actually “dropped.” (As a side note, I’m curious why the FAA didn’t use the same language as in § 91.15 “No pilot in command of a civil aircraft may allow any object to be dropped from that aircraft in flight that creates a hazard to persons or property. However, this section does not prohibit the dropping of any object if reasonable precautions are taken to avoid injury or damage to persons or property.” It seems to have the same legal effect…any insight out there, please send me an email).
With AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL out in Denver next year, hopefully LaMar’s makes a delivery and, if I’m able to make it, I can taste them for myself!