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Royal Mail plans to set up 50 drone routes

[ May 12, 2022   //   ]

The Royal Mail says it plans to scale up its use of drone technology. It will create more than 50 new routes over the next three years, subject to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approval, as part of a new partnership with the Windracers drone company.

The UAVs (Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles) will provide faster, more reliable and more convenient services to remote communities while cutting carbon emissions and improve the reliability of island mail services, it says. Ferries, conventional aircraft and road transport can be affected by bad weather.

The first routes identified for the new service include the Isles of Scilly, Shetland Islands, Orkney Islands and the Hebrides. 

Rail Mail says that subject to CAA approval and the on-going improvement in UAV economics, it will fly up to 200 drones over the next three years. Longer term, it hopes to deploy a fleet of more than 500 drones servicing all corners of the UK.

Royal Mail has already carried out four drone trials over the last 18 months including flights on the Isle of Mull in Scotland, on the Isles of Scilly off the Cornish coast and between Kirkwall and North Ronaldsay, on the Orkney Islands.