Although drones and airports don’t usually mix, a pilot project at Edmonton International Airport shows promise for a mutually beneficial coexistence. Drone Delivery Canada and the airport authority have teamed up for a trial that involves shuttling freight from the ramp over the freeway beside the airport to a delivery site in nearby Nisku. The flights are about two kilometres and only take a few minutes using a Sparrow multicopter drone that weighs about five kilograms. At least two local delivery companies will receive the packages and drive them to their final destinations.
Airport spokesman Myron Keehn told the Edmonton Journal recent supply chain disruptions here and around the world show how drones can help. “The world has seen how vulnerable supply chains can be,” Keehn said. “We must find new ways to modernize and protect supply chains, improve logistics, and ensure that critical supplies get where they need to go.” Keehn said the Edmonton trial will serve as a blueprint for similar services elsewhere.