Royal Mail tests drones to deliver items from mainland Britain to the Isles of Scilly Business news

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Royal Mail will test the use of drones to deliver health and safety equipment, COVID-19 test kits and other items to the Isles of Scilly.

It will be the first time an autonomous drone flight has been deployed out of sight between mainland Britain and an island, the company said.

Parcels are flown to St. Mary’s airport by a drone, which can transport up to 100 kg of mail at a time, which is roughly the size of a typical delivery round.

The items are then brought to delivery points around the islands by a smaller drone.

Amy Richards, a postwoman in the Isles of Scilly, said, “There are some really remote areas in these islands and this is a great way to help us get there.

“It is really important that we do everything we can to help all regions of the country stay connected, especially during these difficult times.”

If the process is successful, the technology could be used to help postal workers deliver to remote areas in the UK, according to Royal Mail.

Nick Landon, Royal Mail’s Chief Commercial Officer, said, “This is part of our ongoing quest to bring the best, most innovative technologies into our network.

“We have seen a huge increase in parcel volumes since the pandemic began. This is just one of the ways we want to help our postmen and women provide quick and convenient services to all of our customers while reducing our carbon emissions . “

The government funded project is being developed in partnership with DronePrep, Skyports, Consortiq Limited, the University of Southampton, Excalibur Healthcare Services and Windracers Limited.

Transport Secretary Rachel Maclean said: “The UK is already a world leader in aviation innovation and today’s announcement is an exciting step forward for Royal Mail.”

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