AVIATION, TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Airbus to develop drone package delivery system in Singapore

Airbus will set up a local company to head the project.

Unmanned aircraft, more commonly known as drones, may soon replace delivery men in Singapore. Airbus Helicopters and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to conduct proof-of-concept trials for an unmanned aircraft delivery system.

Under the Skyways Experimentation Project, Airbus and CAAS aim to develop an airborne infrastructure solution to address the sustainability and efficiency of parcel delivery business in large urban environments, also known as “last mile” delivery.

The Skyways Project will be implemented in two phases. In the first phase, Airbus has begun work with the National University of Singapore (NUS) to establish a network of parcel sending stations on the NUS campus. This network will allow users to send important and urgent items such as documents via a drone to other parts of the campus.

Following the success of the first trial, the project may extend to a second trial. This will cover delivery of goods such as urgent medicine, oil samples and spare electronic parts from a parcel station located at the Singapore coast to ships anchored at bay.
Airbus intends to set up a Special Purpose Company in Singapore to conduct the Skyways Project and to prepare for the next steps.

Commercialisation plans that might be derived from the project will be executed from Singapore with Singapore as the Asia Pacific headquarters for this business.

“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,” said Jean-Brice Dumont, Executive Vice-President, Engineering, Airbus Helicopters.

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