The Isles of Scilly Steamship Company (ISSC) has teamed up with drone company Flylogix to trial a drone delivery service from Land’s End Airport, near Penzance, Cornwall, to the Isles of Scilly, reports inyourarea.co.uk. The ISSC transports the majority of goods and people between the islands and mainland Cornwall.
The two-year collaboration will explore the feasibility of a regular unmanned logistics service for the Isles of Scilly community, initially using Flylogix’s own remotely piloted fixed wing aircraft. The first test flight is expected to take place before the end of the year, subject to regulatory approval.
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Ian Howard, chairman of the ISSC Group, says, “This is an exciting partnership that opens up the next chapter in our 100 years of serving the islands’ community. For us this is about using innovation to provide additional services to the community.”
He continued, “We want to explore whether a UAV freight service is technically and commercially feasible using a new generation of environmentally friendly unmanned aircraft.” Adding, “This service could be for urgent freight like medication, but also for anyone looking for a rapid delivery service of higher value items.”
Hampshire-based Flylogix operates a fleet of unmanned aircraft providing long-range full service ‘over horizon’ operations, to the offshore energy industry. The Flylogix team have backgrounds ranging from Formula 1 and global communications to offshore engineering and search and rescue.
The company is one of just 10 chosen to work with the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) Innovation Team alongside the likes of Amazon and Boeing to help keep the UK’s aviation sector at the forefront of technology development.
Charles Tavner, executive chairman at Flylogix, comments, “We’re bringing together artificial intelligence and satellite communication to develop a new generation of unmanned aircraft and this partnership aims to be at the forefront of that work.”
And Cllr Robert Francis, chairman of the Council of the Isles of Scilly, adds “The Council of the Isles of Scilly is always keen to support its operators in maintaining and developing resilient, cutting edge solutions to the islands’ transport needs. We welcome this innovative project in trialling future-focused, sustainable movement of freight to the Islands.”
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(Pics: Nick Walker)