FedEx Express, in collaboration with Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI) Air, has completed its first scheduled drone last-mile delivery flight in Ireland. The delivery, which took place last week, marks the launch of a trial service delivering goods from FMCI, based at Shannon Airport, County Clare, to Foynes Port, County Limerick, Ireland’s second-largest port operator and largest bulk port company.
The drone deliveries were conducted by cargo drone delivery operator Skyports, on behalf of the FMCI Air consortium which also includes Avtrain, Shannon Group and FMCI.
The delivery of the first FedEx Express package in Ireland via drone is part of a month-long trial which will see a number of test flights conducted in the Mid-West region, beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) between Shannon Airport and Foynes Port. Deliveries are anticipated to be made in under 13 minutes.
Mike Roche, operations managing director, FedEx Express Ireland, said: “We are always looking for new and innovative ways to deliver the world to our customers’ doorsteps and I’m delighted that this drone delivery trial is underway and an example of how we, as an industry, continue to explore new technology to help meet our customers’ evolving delivery needs.”
Julie Garland, on behalf of the FMCI Air Consortium, said: “The calibre of the partners involved in this trial ensures its success. To test the incorporation of Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone freight deliveries into global supply chain logistics is the future happening now. The location of this trial from the FMCI base adjacent to Shannon Airport, in controlled airspace, with full air traffic control services demonstrates the integration of manned aircraft operations with simultaneous vertiport drone operations becoming the norm and paving the way for Advanced Air Mobility.”