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Dublin: 8°C Friday 27 May 2022

Ireland's first legit drone drop landed on a boat at the weekend

The drone delivered medical supplies and food to the boat in Dun Laoghaire.

Image: Pony Expres

THE FIRST OFFICIALLY approved parcel delivery by drone in Ireland was completed over the weekend.

The parcel, which was delivered in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, took two minutes to complete from take-off to parcel drop with the drone taking the 250 gram parcel from the shoreline to a boat at sea almost 200 metres away.

It 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.

Though the delivery was a success, the company that delivered the package, Pony Express Couriers say they are not planning to offer a drone parcel delivery service in Dublin or Ireland any time soon.

“The delivery of low value, urgent items such as takeaway food, especially to remote rural areas is highly likely,” said Audrey Browne, operations manager.

“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.”

This flight is the first parcel delivery drop by drone that the Irish Aviation Authority have sanctioned in Ireland.

“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,” said Ralph James, the IAA’s director of safety regulation.

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