SpiceJet to provide last-mile drone delivery; DGCA approves trials

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SpiceJet, India’s air cargo operator, has received formal approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to conduct drone trials.

Post trials and approvals, SpiceXpress, the dedicated cargo arm of SpiceJet, plans to use drones to provide for a quicker, faster and a cost-effective delivery of medical, pharma and essential supplies and e-commerce products.

A SpiceXpress-led consortium had submitted a proposal to the regulator for conducting experimental Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations of remotely piloted aircraft in response to a DGCA notice inviting Expression of Interest. Based on the recommendations of the BVLOS Experiment Assessment and Monitoring Committee, SpiceXpress was granted permission for conducting experimental BVLOS operations.

“Innovation and technology have always been at the core of SpiceJet’s mission and vision and we have always strived to innovate with our products and services to offer better experiences. Testing of drone technology for last mile connectivity and cost-effective cargo deliveries are a big leap in the air transportation of essential and non-essential supplies in India. We are extremely optimistic about using this exciting new mode of delivery for products like perishables and medicines which have a smaller shelf-life and need urgent deliveries in the remotest parts of India.” Ajay Singh, chairman & managing director, SpiceJet.

The consortium includes Throttle Aerospace, a drone manufacturing company, AeoLogic, an analytics and software solution firm and Involia, which is a provider of air traffic awareness and collision avoidance services.

SpiceXpress will be looking at last-mile delivery from the warehouse and the prime focus will be on delivering medical emergency parcels and essential supplies in remote areas. Drones will ensure a faster delivery bringing down costs and would go a long way to augment our business to offer express delivery of medicines, perishable items and e-commerce shipments.

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