Initial research to establish the feasibility and demand of a drone freight service to the Isles of Scilly has been met with support and enthusiasm.
Key community businesses were interviewed in December by research agency PFA, citing such a service as a potential “game-changer” and a way of improving connection to the islands.
The Steamship Group has been working with UAS experts Flylogix and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on the ground-breaking trial project to deliver freight to the islands using unmanned aircraft since 2020. Last year the project was awarded £200,000 grant funding by Aerospace Cornwall.
Our objective is to research the benefits that a drone could provide our islands, and the potential resilience, along with time and environmental advantages that it could provide.
The project team, consisting of employees from both the Steamship Group and Flylogix, are working closely with the CAA to deliver a series of flight trials later this year.
The consultation, the first of a two-phase process, was carried out to determine opinions, requirements, and the usage of a drone service to the islands. Potential requirements for such a service identified in the consultation includes flights in high wind and fog, the possibility of both ad-hoc and routine flights, and the possible reliability and time saving such a service could provide.
Stakeholders expressed initial interest in a regular and reliable drone service that will provide an additional enhancement to existing air and sea freight services, with the potential possibility of being able to operate in poor weather conditions, or to be called upon on an ad hoc basis.
The next phase of consultation will be island-wide and will take place in the coming months. If you are interested in the next round of consultation or would like more information on Project Swift, please contact [email protected]