Your Valentine's flowers will not be arriving by drone this year.
A Michigan florist's promotional stunt may have excited flight-loving lovers, but the Federal Aviation Administration says it's shutting the operation down.
"Commercial operations are only authorized on a case-by-case basis," FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said in an email. "A commercial flight requires a certified aircraft, a licensed pilot, and operating approval.… Anyone who wants to fly an aircraft, manned or unmanned, in U.S. airspace needs some level of authorization from the FAA." The only operation meeting those standards so far is in the Arctic.
That's bad news for Flower Delivery Express, a Detroit-area company that had hoped airborne roses and carnations would raise its profile come Feb. 14. Before the FAA's shutdown, company CEO Wesley Berry hailed the delivery plan.
"Drones are an emerging technology that will provide an economically viable shipping option for our customers," he said in a statement. "We believe the use of drones will become common practice in the near future."
Flower Delivery Express did not respond for requests for comment Wednesday, but the company's Facebook page promises it's testing "other guarded secret methods" for flower delivery.