Royal Mail to deliver Orkney Islands' mail 'by drone'

Skyports, the drone delivery company, is reportedly set to begin making Royal Mail deliveries to the Orkney Islands with small drones.

The move comes as Skyports was named one of the winners of the UK government’s Future of Freight competition.

Among eight other companies, Skyports won a £150,000 share of the prize fund with its entry aimed at improving logistics in ports and hard-to-reach areas through the Orkney by creating an “intermodal transport hub” to improve island-to-island connectivity using drones to make deliveries, conduct surveys and monitoring.

Skyports told online magazine Flyer its project was significant because it represents the first UK drone delivery project which can be conducted on a permanent basis under existing regulatory frameworks - an achievement made possible due to the unique landscape of Orkney.

“The new service, which is set to launch in Q2 2023, will provide considerable benefits including time, cost and emission savings and improved connectivity for island residents,” a Skyports spokesperson told Flyer.

Chris Paxton, head of drone trials at Royal Mail said: “We are proud to be working with Skyports to deliver to some of the more remote communities that we serve in the UK."

He added: "Using a fully electric drone on a permanent basis supports Royal Mail’s continued drive to reduce emissions associated with our operations, whilst connecting the island communities we deliver to."

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