Don’t Expect Drones to Air-Drop Your Packages

For package delivery, the “last mile” has always been the most complicated and expensive to complete. Now with companies large and small pursuing drone deliveries, the last few feet of the parcel delivery will become the sticking point. A recent FAA decision brings the possibility closer to reality, but don’t expect a fleet of package-bearing drones to ever darken the sky.

The delivery idea is attractive as drones become more common. They give great overhead shots of outdoor events. Documentaries have a new flair that wasn’t possible when using a helicopter and pilot. Businesses, from railroads to food growers to insurance companies, employ drones for inspections without risking workers climbing on damaged buildings or dangling from a rail bridge. The military, scientists and first responders use drones in all kinds of situations. People fly them as a hobby all over the place — a park, beach, in the woods — sometimes invading others privacy.

For package delivery, the…