The Royal Post has unveiled plans to skyrocket in a new partnership with the Windracers Group for more than 50 new delivery routes for postal drones supported by 200 drones over the next three years.
The first places to receive drone supplies will be the Isles of Scilly, the Shetland Islands, the Orkney Islands and the Hebrides.
Royals Mail drones have a wingspan of 10 meters, twin engines and a payload of up to 100 kg.
“The middle mile of supply and logistics, especially to remote locations, has long been neglected by industry and ripe for innovation,” said Stephen Wright, chairman of Windracers Group, a logistics drone company that designs and builds delivery drones.
Plans for the new routes are still subject to approval by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Tests on the technology have already been conducted with four in the last 18 months on the Isle of Mull, the Isles of Scilly and the Orkney Islands
“We have spent the last five years focusing on developing the most commercially viable major logistics drones, so we are really happy to work with Royal Mail on this ambitious and pioneering deployment of autonomous aircraft,” Wright added.
Drones aim to improve deliveries compared to current methods of ferries, planes and land vehicles.
Future plans for the service are eventually to expand to a fleet of more than 500 drones delivering to the UK.
“Delivery on time, regardless of the location of our customers or the weather, while protecting the environment is our goal. Although we go everywhere, Royal Mail already has the lowest CO2 emissions per shipment, this initiative will help reduce our emissions even more, “said Simon Thompson, CEO of Royal Mail.
Royal Mail made the first delivery of a package of drones in the United Kingdom to the Scottish island in December 2020.