Picture yourself ordering something online, then in the next day or two, something resembling a small aircraft or helicopter hovers above your house to drop your parcel off, before flying away into the distance. Sounds like something off Star Trek or some futuristic film right? Well, it looks like that the future might finally be arriving because this is exactly what is starting to happen. We have touched on the subject before in blog posts of recent years, but we now see some concrete evidence talk is turning into action and reality. This blog post looks at what exactly is happening and the impact this could have.
For one customer – Mary Stapleton, this has indeed become a reality. She has described the event as the drone hovering around 50ft above her home, with a little hatch that opened at the bottom. This lowered the parcel to the ground on something which looked like a fishing line. It was reported that she was very impressed with the process stating that it was fantastic to watch.
Although a rather isolated reality at the moment, as 2022 progresses, more and more people will be seeing this happen in certain parts of the country as the experiment gains more momentum. Cities and areas planned to see this use of drone delivery during the year include Wrexham, York, Stirling and some other parts of the country. The locations are not randomly chosen we understand. They have been picked because of the balance of population and terrain factors, making them perfect for a testing and trial environment. At this stage perhaps, to undertake this in Central London might be a little too risky.
The area of drone flying is a very regulated market and is controlled by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA,) just in the same way that passenger aircraft are. Current laws are very strict and state that drones must be operated within the sight of air traffic controllers unless a special licence or exemption has been granted. It is so heavily regulated that we understand around only 10 such licenses have been granted thus far.
This is a truly exciting prospect, and so much so the Government is supporting its experiment and roll out. The current transport secretary has signalled that he wants the UK to become a leading base for this technology and has encouraged the CAA to work with providers who present applications which are safe and effective.
Drones for delivery are not just used for parcels. There are instances where much more can be delivered including medical supplies, shopping and even breakfast! More will be understood about the capabilities and limitations of such things as experiments continue and this becomes a common feature across the country.
Compared to conventional delivery, the benefits of using drones are thought to be much greater. Noise and traffic is greatly reduced, along with a decrease in pollution and carbon footprint. Some are still concerned about the safety aspect of this idea, but controlled test environments such as those proposed present a perfect place to observe and refine anything which needs addressing.
Bear in mind that this is not the end of couriers or delivery drivers in the traditional sense. These drones are only capable of ferrying relatively small or light goods. You aren’t going to be seeing a fridge or washing machine delivered on these things. It does however represent a positive step forward in time and energy saving for the courier industry – something which should be welcomed by all.
Drones would not be suitable for some types of delivery including event & exhibition, freight or fine art for example. Why not use Rock Solid Deliveries instead? Check out what we do by clicking the links.