Deutsche Post DHL will use drones to deliver medication to a German island in the North Sea, WSJ is reporting.
Said drone has already brought its first package of drugs from the harbor town of Norddeich to the small island of Juist. Going forward, the plan is to have this drone flying on a daily basis, depending on weather conditions.
Several government agencies have worked together to establish a restricted flight area specifically for the North Sea drone flights.According to DHL, these will the first routine missions in Europe in which a drone will operate beyond the pilot’s eyesight.
DHL’s plans follow those of Amazon.com and Google, which have each tested their own delivery drones. Alas, these two tech giant said the routine deployment of the devices is years away, in part because of regulatory challenges.
German company was lucky enough to have several government agencies working together to establish a restricted flight area specifically for the North Sea drone flights. On the other hand, U.S. aviation authorities have moved more slowly than other countries in approving commercial-drone flights, even for testing, prompting Amazon to conduct some of its tests in Canada, and Google in Australia.
DHL’s drone-research project kicked off last year in Bonn, Germany, delivering medication across the Rhine River to a lawn behind the company’s headquarters. The drone tested in the North Sea, however, has been revamped with the help of Microdrones GmbH and a German university to withstand the wind and weather conditions of the region.
Once the drone lands in Juist, the company’s couriers will retrieve the parcels and deliver them to residents and vacationers on the island. DHL said pilots on the ground in Norddeich will stay in contact with air-traffic controllers and monitor the drone in case they need to intervene.