B.C. company gets first drone delivery licence in Canada | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. company gets first drone delivery licence in Canada

Image Credit: FACEBOOK: InDro Robotics
November 12, 2020 - 6:30 PM

For the first time ever, the Canadian Transport Agency has issued a licence to a drone company to use its flying machines to carry commercial goods – albeit not very far.

B.C. based InDro Robotics will now be able to ship parcels and packages with its drone for distances up to 25 kilometres.

While it seems highly unlikely courier companies will be flocking to the Salt Spring Island firm for help delivering parcels during the Christmas rush, the move by the regulator could open the gates for longer flights.

"This permission until now has only ever been issued to airlines and paves the way for (a) much wider range of drone use," InDro Robotics chief executive officer Philip Reece said in a media release. "We believe in the very near future our aircraft will be able to travel further and with more weight load, expanding drone capabilities."

The Canadian Transport Agency issued the licence Oct. 26, allowing InDro Robotics to fly drones to carry cargo for commercial purposes up to 10 kilograms in weight.

According to an InDro Robotics media release, the licence is the first of its kind to be issued in Canada and it can use drones to ship anything, other than animals and people.

While 25 kms isn't very far, the company says it's hopeful the distance will be expanded to 200 km in the very near future.

"Our Canadian researchers and technologists together with the efforts of the Canadian Transport Agency, and Transport Canada continue to advance drone technology at a record pace," Reece said. "We believe in the very near future our aircraft will be able to travel further and with more weight load, expanding drone capabilities."

The company says it has recently been working with regulators and the Vancouver Island Health Authority to look at rapid ways of providing COVID-related drone support to several communities, hospitals and medical centres in B.C.

The idea of having parcels delivered by drone has been discussed for several years. According to wired.com, in August Amazon became the third U.S. company to be granted a licence from the Federal Aviation Administration to deliver packages by drones. The article also says getting an Amazon delivery by drone won't happen anytime soon.

In 2019 InDro Robotics, along with Canada Post and London Drugs, flew a drone carrying emergency medications from Duncan to Salt Spring Island. The flight was the first-ever over the Pacific Ocean with the drone completing the six-kilometre journey in 11 minutes.


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