The first location in the UK to receive mail via drone is Orkney.
To transfer mail and packages across the islands, Royal Mail and drone company Skyports have established the Orkney I-Port operation.
The council’s harbour authority will work with Loganair to transport mail from the Royal Mail delivery office in Kirkwall to Stromness.
Drones will next bring the parcels to Graemsay and Hoy, where postal workers will finish off their distribution routes.
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The service will initially run for three months, but because of Orkney’s distinctive topography and the proximity of the islands to one another, it might be maintained permanently under current legal standards.
Given that terrain and weather often disrupt delivery services, it is anticipated that the drone service will greatly increase service levels and delivery times to Graemsay and Hoy.
By guaranteeing postal workers may transport between ports without risk, the adoption of electric drones for inter-island delivery will also result in major safety benefits.
The inter-island flights will be operated by Skyports using the Speedbird Aero DLV-2. First, the multirotor drone can transport weights up to 6 kg.
The Freight Innovation Fund of the Department of Transportation provided funding for the project, which was carried out by the Connected Places Catapult.
“We are proud to be working with Skyports to deliver via drone to some of the most remote communities that we serve in the UK,” said Chris Paxton, head of drone experiments at Royal Mail.
By connecting the island communities we distribute to, using a totally electric drone aids Royal Mail’s ongoing efforts to cut emissions related to our operations.
“By leveraging drone technology, we are revolutionising mail services in remote communities, providing more effective and timely delivery, and helping to reduce the need for emissions-producing vehicles,” said Alex Brown, director of Skyports Drone Services.
We’re excited to work with Royal Mail once more on this project to show how drone operations might improve UK logistics.