Singapore taking drone delivery seriously

In a signal that the country is taking drone delivery seriously, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus Helicopters to test the idea of developing a mail drone delivery system.

Airbus will now set up a company in Singapore with with to develop the programme. The first step will be to develop proof of concept trials for an unmanned delivery system, that some suggest could replace postmen in the city state.

The first phase of the so-called Skyways programme will be to set up a network of parcel sending stations around the National University of Singapore’s campuses for students and faculty members to send and receive parcels.

If the first phase of the project is successful the second phase of the project will be to use drones to deliver medical equipment, oil and spare electronic parts to ships anchored offshore from Singapore.

Jean Brice-Dumont, Executive Vice President of Engineering at Airbus Helicopters said of the project, “Although many UAS services are already common today, efficient and reliable applications in the logistics industry are still in their early stages. Our vision is the seamless integration of UAS into logistics networks and daily life in a safe, secure and economically efficient manner.”

Where drone delivery systems are often seen as pie in the sky by some commentators and are often bogged down bureaucracy as much as the technical issues in some western nations, the door is open for a South East Asian country to take the bull by the horns. In the same way as the UK’s railway infrastructure is the oldest in the world and in need of constant maintenance just to keep trains on the lines, yet Japan and China have some of the fastest and most effective railway networks in the world purely down to their age, there is room for a young, up and coming South East Asian nation to take the lead on drone delivery.