Skyports’s drone services division is collaborating with the Royal Mail, Orkney Islands Council Harbour Authority and Loganair to deliver cargo in the Orkney Islands.
Electric drones from Skyports will undertake both daily inter-port and shore-to-ship deliveries.
“The possibility of drone deliveries from shore to ship in particular, could add an extra dimension to the services provided by our Marine Services team, vital as we look to position ourselves as innovators within the marine and harbour operations sphere,” said David Dawson, Orkney councillor.
Skyports bills its I-Port project as the UK’s first drone delivery initiative, which can continue permanently under established regulations.
Currently, planes transport mail to the main island, and then ferry or plane distribute it to the other 19 inhabited Orkney Islands. However, the ferry is subject to frequent weather delays.
Part of the trial will see the transporting of documents, bunker fuel samples and supplies from Orkney Islands Council Harbour Authority to docked ships in the port.
Alex Brown, director of Skyports Drone Services, said: “Rural and maritime logistics are contingent on access, weather and personnel; if one of these factors is compromised, so too is the ability to provide a safe and reliable service. Orkney is just one example of a hard-to-reach location that will benefit significantly from regular recurring drone operations.”
Earlier this year the drone company expanded into Asia, having opened two offices in South Korea.
In May the Royal Mail revealed it would be creating 50 new postal drone delivery routes, with one of the first locations being the Orkney Islands.
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