Berlin, Germany – Deutsche Post DHL has inaugurated the world’s first drone package delivery service with a 7.5-mile flight transporting medicine to a pharmacy on the North Sea island of Juist.
The company said the quad-rotor “DHL Paketkopter 2.0” will operate daily, carrying a maximum load of 1.2 kilograms – about 2.65 pounds – of medicine.
Juist has about 1,500 inhabitants and is served by one ferry per day and an occasional small-aircraft flight, depending on the weather.
The express package company said will monitor each flight to the island, but the water, snow and dust-resistant drone will fly on autopilot to deliver the medicine — at no extra cost during the test.
The company says it currently has no concrete plans for full-scale regular drone deliveries.
Last December, DHL first tested the drone on a flight hauling a package of medicine from a pharmacy in Bonn to the company’s headquarters on the other side of the Rhine River.
All drone flights require permission from local and federal aviation authorities, the company said.