Christina Cardoza

Feb 6, 2017 11:50:20 AM

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Ireland is joining the drone delivery world. The Irish Aviation Authority announced the first approved parcel delivery by drone. The successful delivery took place on Jan. 28 in the Dublin area.

“We’re delighted with the success of the first official parcel delivery in Ireland via drone under controlled conditions which met all regulatory requirements,” said Ralph James, the IAA’s director of safety regulation. “The application of drone technology is vast and the IAA will continue to foster, promote and encourage its use with the emphasis, as always, on safety.”

The flight was a part of a 10-year-old student’s drone research project for the Intel Mini Scientist Competition. The student, Belle Moore, received assistance from the commercial drone pilot training provider FlyRyte Drone Academy as well as courier provider Pony Express Couriers.

Moore’s drone flew at 5 p.m. and delivered a parcel weighing 250 grams from the shoreline to a boat about 200 meters away. The parcel included medical supplies, an emergency blanket, an EpiPen, bandages, plasters, a thermometer, a first aid kit, gloves, wipes, burn dressing, food, and drink.

“A significant amount of research is taking place all over the world to design systems which will enable drones to safely integrate with manned aviation,” said James. “Drone delivery systems [are] one such application. Whatever procedures are introduced in the future must guarantee the safety of manned aviation and the safety of people on the ground in urban areas.”

According to the IAA, Ireland was the first country to mandate registration for drones weighing more than 1 kilogram. Today, there are more than 6,000 drones and small aircraft registered. The IAA also restricts users from flying over people, more than 300 meters away from the operator, within 120 meters of people, vessels, and structures, over urban areas as well as in civil or military controlled airspace.

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