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First cargo drone flights take off from Milan/Malpensa airport as part of U-ELCOME trials

During the night of 8-9 July, the first set of test flights were carried out using drones with vertical take-off and landing capabilities to transport goods from Malpensa’s airport Cargo City to Barbarini & Foglia’s logistics warehouse, according to the U-ELCOME research programme website on July 10, 2023.

“The cargo operations were conducted by Technosky using a NIMBUS cargo drone model performing a 8 km round trip, twice, transporting a small payload,” says a press report.  “The flights will continue tonight from the same starting point to the SEBI logistics warehouse, covering a distance of 7 km between round trips. These are overnight test flights to be followed by further flights operated by Telespazio with Dronus, and other operators during autumn 2024 as part of the Italian Demonstration Cluster coordinated by ENAV.

“The aim of the flight trials is to test this innovative transport mode with drones (Innovative Air Mobility) enabled by the U-space U1 and U2 services provided by D-flight. The flight trials activities from the Cargo City of Malpensa may contribute to the launch of large-scale drone cargo delivery services in the future, optimising delivery times, reducing CO2 emissions as an alternative to road transport, promoting environmental sustainability and decarbonisation.

“These objectives are at the heart of the European project U-ELCOME (U-space European COMmon dEpLoyment), coordinated by EIH (EUROCONTROL Innovation Hub) in the context of the SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking Digital Sky Demonstrator initiative, co-funded by the European Union under the CEF (The Connecting Europe Facility) programme and in which @SEA Milan Airports has the role of Coordinator of the Milan Sandbox.

“SEA Milan Airports collaborates with the Italian partners of the project: ENAV, D-flight, EuroUSC Italia, Telespazio, TECHNO SKY and Dronus in the planning and development of the relevant flight campaigns, and with ENAC for the regulatory aspects, the flight authorisations and the implementation of the Milan Sandbox.

For more information

U-ELCOME progress: first drone flights to transport goods from Malpensa

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