Ireland’s First Approved Parcel Delivery by Drone
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) welcomed the first IAA-approved parcel delivery by drone, which successfully took place on Saturday, January 28, in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin.
The flight was organized by Belle Moore, 10 years old, a student of Alexandra College Junior School, Milltown, as part of her research for her project on drones for the Intel Mini Scientist Competition. The flight took place at 5 PM and took two minutes to complete from take-off to parcel drop, with the drone taking the parcel, weighing a little over half a pound from the shoreline to a boat at sea 650 feet away.
The parcel contained medical supplies: an emergency thermal blanket, an Epi-pen, bandages, plasters, thermometer, first aid leaflet, gloves, wipes and burn dressings. It also contained food and a drink in the form of a high-energy bar and water. The supplies were attached to the underside of the drone in a waterproof container.
The IAA helped Belle with her research, providing her with details on the safety regulations for drone flight in Ireland. This flight is the first parcel delivery drop by drone that the IAA has sanctioned in Ireland.
“The application of drone technology is vast and the IAA will continue to foster, promote and encourage its use with the emphasis on safety,” said Ralph James, the IAA’s Director of Safety Regulation. “A significant amount of research is taking place all over the world to design systems which will enable drones to safely integrate with manned aviation. Drone delivery systems is one such application. Whatever procedures are introduced in the future must guarantee the safety of manned aviation and the safety of people on the ground in urban areas.”
Also helping Belle with her research and the flight were FlyRyte Drone Academy who train commercial drone pilots in Ireland Gearóid Ó Briain, Head of Training at FlyRyte helped Belle by controlling the delivery drone), as well as Pony Express Couriers, Dublin’s largest courier company.
Ireland was the first country in the world to introduce mandatory registration for all drones over 2.2 pounds. There are now over 6,000 drones and small aircraft registered with the IAA and the number continues to grow.