drone carrying package
An article by DRONELIFE shares that two cities in North Texas, North Richland Hills and Plano, have recently adapted their local regulations to facilitate Walmart’s expansion of drone delivery services in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. These regulatory changes, including designated take-off and landing spots and new zoning ordinances for drone delivery hubs, reflect a growing acceptance and readiness for drone-based delivery systems. Such developments suggest a model for other cities, like Cleveland, to explore drone delivery services by addressing regulatory environments and community readiness, potentially revolutionizing local delivery systems with efficient, innovative solutions.

Two cities in North Texas have recently taken steps to pave the way for Walmart to continue to expand its drone delivery operations across the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area.

The city of North Richland Hills, about 14 miles east of Fort Worth, late last month approved drone take-off and landing spots at two Walmart store locations. On February 26, the City Council of Plano, about 20 miles north of Dallas, approved a change to the city’s zoning ordinance, regulating drone delivery hubs as a new land-use category.

Both moves come in response to Walmart’s ambitious plans to expand its drone deliveries to 75% of the DFW area by the end of this year. In January, the retail giant said it would expand its UAV delivery services to its stores across more than 30 towns and municipalities in the metroplex, in partnership with on-demand drone delivery providers Wing and Zipline.

In an interview, North Richland Hills City Manager Mark Hindman said the city amended its zoning ordinance to allow the two Walmart locations to each set aside a portion of their parking lots to convert the space into drone takeoff and landing areas.

“It’s somewhat experimental. They’re doing it in some other places, but they’re just kind of refining the concept,” he said.

The change will allow drone deliveries to originate within the city limits for the first time and Hindman said the majority of the town’s residents seem to be on board with the new delivery service option.

“We received one letter in opposition and there’s been some questions and concerns that have been expressed by residents. But for the most part, the residents seem to be ready and open to this type of service,” he said. “I think people just assume that this is the direction that delivery of small items will take in the future.”

Soaring to new heights, together.

Be sure to visit the BWU Technology Partnerships Initiative website to learn more about how our NEOFIX program drives economic growth, promotes policy and infrastructure to improve drone safety and efficiency in various industries, and ensures that drone technology is being used responsibly.