Drones are new and are used for everything from pleasure to work in remote areas. There are plenty of regulations surrounding their use, especially around airports. That is changing in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada as a new commercial drone delivery service is set to launch in a collaboration between Drone Delivery Canada, Nav Canada, Ziing Final Mile, and Apple Express — a first in Canada.
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After years of trials (this project was first announced back in 2019), DDC and EIA demonstrated a Sparrow drone flying with a package from the airport to a destination in neighbouring Nisku. The drone, which weighs about 10 pounds, is capable of flying for about 45 minutes and has a range of up to 25 kilometres (15.5 miles). Flying a pre-programmed route, the drone can fly without the need for a pilot but safety pilots will be monitoring the flights remotely, able to jump in and take control if needed.
“At EIA our mandate is to support economic growth and diversification in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. Our national leadership in integrating drone technologies at an airport is giving birth to a new sector in drone logistics. The integration of these sustainable technologies is the precursor to the enablement of advanced air mobility, and it lowers barriers for the movement of goods and in the future, people.”Myron Keehn, vice-president of air service and business development at EIA
The company anticipates running a few flights each weekday between the airport and Ziing Final Mile or Apple Express and hopes to see it evolve to other communities. The company also has larger drones they are testing out.
“You will have central hubs, such as Edmonton, and then you’ll have spokes, which will be the smaller communities that will be served by it.”Steve Bogie, VP of flight operations and technology for Drone Delivery Canada
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Last Updated on December 5, 2021.