Wednesday, September 24, 2014

DHL Paketkopter 2.0: Juist Island to get first German drone delivery service

Deutsche Post DHL says it is starting Germany's first drone package delivery service, a test program transporting medicine to a pharmacy on a North Sea island.

The company said the quad-rotor "DHL Paketkopter 2.0" will begin daily flights Friday, bringing a maximum load of 1.2 kilograms (2.65 pounds) of medicine to the German island of Juist.

The island has about 1,500 inhabitants. It's usually served by one ferry per day and an occasional small-aircraft flight, depending on the weather.

DHL said Wednesday it will monitor each 12-kilometer (7.5-mile) flight to the island, but the water, snow and dust-resistant drone will fly on autopilot to deliver the medicine—at no extra cost during the test.

The company says it currently has no concrete plans for full-scale regular drone deliveries.

Together with the two research and development partners, the Institute of Flight System Dynamics, RWTH Aachen and the Microdrones GmbH, went through DHL package one led by the Lower Saxony Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport of review and approval process.

The Federal Ministry of Transport and digital infrastructure has set up in coordination with the German Air Traffic Control (DFS) for this research project an exclusive restricted area.

In addition to the island of Juist municipality and the town of Norden, the National Park Administration Wadden Sea has approved the use of the copter.

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