UK’s Royal Mail testing long-distance drone delivery

Nobody can claim the august Royal Mail is resistant to change. Not only has the 506-year-old company already begun testing delivery by drones, but it now plans to extend that through Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flights as well.

Getting all Scilly with drones

Royal Post says it’s preparing to start trial delivery flights this month to the Iles of Scilly, located 30 miles off the coast of Cornwall. That distance makes BVLOS operation obligatory. The initial shipments will be of COVID-era must-haves: primarily personal protection equipment and COVID-19 testing kits. A later phase of the project will expand to delivering regular mail.

The move follows Royal Mail’s decision in December to test drone deliveries to remote UK locations. That resulted later that same month in an initial unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) shuttling a package to a lighthouse on the Scottish Isle of Mull. But with Mull situated only about 110 yards from the mainland, the BVLOS runs to Scilly…