in Aerospace

Drone delivers first FedEx Express package in Ireland

Posted 4 October 2021 · Add Comment

Last week, FedEx Express, in collaboration with Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI) Air, announced the completion of its first scheduled drone last-mile delivery flight in Ireland.

Image courtesy FMCI / FedEx Express

The delivery marks the launch of a trial service delivering goods from FMCI, based at Shannon Airport, County Clare, to Foynes Port, County Limerick, Ireland’s second-largest port operator and largest bulk port company.

The drone deliveries were conducted by Skyports, a world-leading operator of cargo drone deliveries, on behalf of the FMCI Air consortium which also includes Avtrain, Shannon Group and FMCI.

The delivery of the first FedEx Express package in Ireland via drone demonstrates the benefits of drone delivery for last-mile service and the commitment by FedEx to exploring the latest innovations in last-mile delivery.

The delivery is part of a month-long trial which will see a number of test flights conducted in the Mid-West region, beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) between Shannon Airport and Foynes Port, with deliveries anticipated to be made in under 13 minutes. Clare County and Limerick City and County Council have shown their support for the project, highlighting the role that the councils are playing and leading from an innovation perspective.

Mike Roche, Operations Managing Director, FedEx Express Ireland, said: “We are always looking for new and innovative ways to deliver the world to our customers’ doorsteps and I’m delighted that this drone delivery trial is underway and an example of how we, as an industry, continue to explore new technology to help meet our customers’ evolving delivery needs.”

Julie Garland on behalf of the FMCI Air Consortium, said: “The calibre of the partners involved in this trial ensures its success. To test the incorporation of Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone freight deliveries into global supply chain logistics is the future happening now. The location of this trial from the FMCI base adjacent to Shannon Airport, in controlled airspace, with full air traffic control services demonstrates the integration of manned aircraft operations with simultaneous vertiport drone operations becoming the norm and paving the way for Advanced Air Mobility.”   

FMCI Air is a consortium of companies formed in May 2021 to bring advanced air mobility to Ireland. Those collaborating in this venture are: Skyports, the world’s leading passenger air taxi and cargo drone vertiport provider and drone delivery operator; Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI), Ireland’s first testbed for future mobility located next to Shannon Airport; Avtrain, Europe’s leading Drone Pilot and Operator Training and Certification Body; and Shannon Group’s International Aviation Services Centre , which supports and promotes one of Ireland’s largest aviation clusters located at Shannon.

The consortium is working towards launching an operational vertiport at Shannon’s FMCI campus in 2022, thereby encouraging participation and investment in Ireland’s Advanced Aerial Mobility (AAM) industry. The long-term goal is the establishment of Ireland’s first air taxi service and routine beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations.

 

 

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