Pony Express Couriers makes Ireland’s first authorised drone delivery
Pony Express Couriers has announced that it has made Ireland’s first Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) approved parcel delivery by drone. The delivery took place in in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin at 5pm on Saturday (28 January). A DJI Inspire 1 drone carried a 250 gram parcel from the shoreline to a boat at sea almost 200 metres 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.
Pony Express Couriers said that while t is “not planning on offering a drone parcel delivery service in Dublin or Ireland any time soon”, it is “keen to be at the leading edge of all new developments”.
“We were delighted to be involved in Ireland’s first drone parcel delivery and we’re proud that we, as an Irish company, are trialling the technology,” said Audrey Browne, Operations Manager of Pony Express.
Browne continued: “The delivery of low value, urgent items such as takeaway food, especially to remote rural areas is highly likely but important city deliveries such as the majority of our same-day express services could not be trusted to drones yet, the possibility of interception, loss or damage would be too great.
“When parcel delivery by drone can be proven to work safely in an urban context, then we will revaluate the situation, but for now we will continue offering parcel delivery by our traditional methods of bicycles, motorbike, vans and trucks.”
Ralph James, the IAA’s Director of Safety Regulation, added: “We’re delighted with the success of the first official parcel delivery in Ireland via drone under controlled conditions which met all regulatory requirements. The application of drone technology is vast and the IAA will continue to foster, promote and encourage its use with the emphasis as always on safety.”