Residents on the Scottish Isle of Mull will soon be consulted to see if they would be open to delivery drones flying in the sky. A drone trial is also expected to take place in the new year after a parcel was flown from the mainland to the island earlier this month.

The company behind the aerial move Skyports has already been delivering medicine from the mainland to the island’s hospital in another trial. The company will work with the UK’s national mail service, the Royal Mail, to evaluate drone deliveries to and from the island.

Joining the two companies is DronePrep, a drone-related consultancy company, and what3words, a company that has created a system for uniquely identifying every three square meters of land with a combination of three words, making choosing a delivery location simpler.

Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail said: 

“Delivering the first live parcel in the UK by an unmanned drone was a landmark day for us. We are incredibly proud to be working with DronePrep, Skyports, and what3words to trial new ways to support the more remote and isolated communities we serve. This is part of our constant drive to incorporate the best innovative technologies into our network. We’ve seen a huge increase in parcel volumes this year and this is just one of the ways we are looking at to support our frontline delivery staff and deliver fast, convenient and green services for all of our customers.”

Unlike some drone delivery services that deliver the package right to your door, this one delivers it to a drop off point based on the postcode provided, where a postman or postwoman will deliver the package along the final leg of the journey. A local postman added that he is very excited to be testing this new way of delivering as some of the houses require a 30-minute walk to deliver something to the door. The drones will be able to shorten this time significantly.

Duncan Walker, Chief Executive of Skyports followed with: 

“We are delighted to contribute our experience of flying delivery drones for the NHS around the Isle of Mull to this exciting project.  Delivery drones are already proven as a fast and reliable solution for transporting packages to poorly connected rural communities.  This trial with Royal Mail, what3words and DronePrep has the potential to lay the foundations for a future service to complement the one provided by Royal Mail’s hard-working posties that we rely on today.”

Photo: Chris Gorman


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