UK Royal Mail launches Orkney I-Port operation, delivers inter-island mail by drone

Speedbird Aero is the latest aircraft partner to join Skyports Drone Services for the Orkney I-Port operation, a drone delivery project established in partnership with Royal Mail, Orkney Islands Council Harbour Authority and Loganair.

Speedbird Aero has been selected as the latest aircraft partner to join Skyports Drone Services’ drone fleet. The Brazilian drone manufacturer will provide its DLV-2 aircraft for Skyports Drone Services’ global delivery and logistics projects, starting with three months of inter-island delivery flights for Royal Mail for the Orkney I-Port project.

According to the press release, the electric multirotor DLV-2 drone, which has a payload capacity of 6kg and a range of up to 16km, was selected as vehicle of choice for the Orkney I-Port project due to its large payload volume, which makes it well suited to carrying cargo such as Royal Mail parcels. First deliveries were completed in July this year and will continue until October. The aircraft is also equipped with a parachute.

The weather and geography of Orkney impacts the ability for Royal Mail to provide an uninterrupted delivery service for its residents and pauses in the ferry schedule – by which some mail is transported – are common during poor weather due to the challenges of docking safely. The DLV-2 aircraft has been selected due to its ability to fly in weather conditions that exceed the upper limits of the Orkney inter-island ferry.

The Speedbird DLV-2 is the latest aircraft to be onboarded by Skyports Drone Services, following Pyka Pelican Cargo earlier this year. The drone service provider has been reinforcing and consolidating its aircraft fleet to meet growing market demand and serve its drone logistics, survey and monitoring customers.

Orkney I-Port flights will be conducted under existing regulatory frameworks, making it possible to extend beyond the initial three-month period. This is due to the proximity of the take-off and landing locations and the ability for flights to be conducted using extended visual line of sight (EVLOS).

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