Drone Delivery Canada Completes First U.S. Test Flights

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Toronto-based Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) completed a series of successful test flights during the week of March 5 at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, N.Y., home to one of the federal unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) testing sites.

The tests – the first for DDC in the U.S. – were conducted with the company’s Transport Canada-compliant Sparrow Drone, which has a lifting capacity of 5 kg (approximately 11 lbs.). Testing also included DDC’s proprietary FLYTE management system and proprietary DroneSpot technology, which provides secure and controlled takeoff and landing areas for users to interact with. The real-time data provided by the DroneSpot includes localized weather, surrounding aircraft awareness, and weight and balance monitoring, among other data points integral for safe public operations.

Griffiss International Airport, located approximately 500 kilometers from the company’s Canadian facilities, offers long-distance capabilities for testing beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS), DDC notes.

In November, DDC tested its platform in Canada’s Moose Factory and Moosonee communities, where it completed a series of successful flights of distances of up to 2.12 kilometers (approximately 1.32 miles) but while maintaining visual contact.

“Testing at Griffiss was a natural extension for continued progress with our platform in a BVLOS, non-segregated airspace environment,” says Paul Di Benedetto, chief technology officer of DDC. “An active runway with large aircraft, helicopters and general aviation aircraft is the latest advancement to our operations team airspace integration efforts and a progression from the knowledge learned during DDC’s Moosonee operations, which remain ongoing. We are pleased to report 100 percent success rate with all our test fights and look forward to our expansion into the USA, which has now begun in earnest.”

“Testing at Griffiss was a significant milestone for DDC and the beginning of our USA expansion program,” says Mark Wuennenberg, vice president of regulatory affairs at DDC. “In addition to our continued advancements in Canada, we look forward to continued success in the USA and are pleased to report the team has been working very hard working alongside key stakeholders, including the federal regulator.”

Anthony J. Picente Jr., Oneida County, N.Y., executive, adds, “I am pleased that Drone Delivery Canada’s testing at Griffiss International Airport was a success and that the company chose our test site for its first ever operation in the United States. This partnership is further evidence of how Oneida County is leading the way in the advancement and development of the UAS industry.”

As DDC continues to test and operate in multiple, complex and diverse environments, the company says its drone delivery solution continues to strengthen as it better integrates with existing air operators and complies with airspace policies and procedures – all while putting public safety at the forefront as the company rapidly approaches commercialization.



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