Routine drone delivery for domestic parcels could become a reality as soon as next year, predicts industry expert.
According to The Times, Andy Sage, NATS head of drones, said that routine out-of-sight operations could start as soon as 2019, or 2020, in response to a shift in BVLOS regulations from NATS.
“This is about being able to transmit a drone’s location or intended flight to allow it to be seen,” he told The Times. “It would be a critical component in moving away from line of sight operations to begin operating beyond the line of sight.”
“Without this sort of solution, it would be very difficult for commercial drone operators to come to the UK and undertake more complex operations safely in our busy airspace.”
While the technology, regulations and piloting may soon be in place to make the transition to drone delivery, ecommerce supply chains remain sceptical about the impact it will have on the industry.
In a statement sent to The Sun, supply chain expert, Mike Danby, said: “While it’s interesting to hear that drones will safely share airspace with conventional aircraft, there’s still some way to go before we see Amazon-style deliveries landing on doorsteps.”
“There are countless issues to first overcome, particularly around infrastructure, privacy and security, and avoiding interference with the package.