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SpiceJet receives DGCA’s nod for drone trials in delivering essentials

drone trials
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SpiceJet  announced on Friday that its freighter arm SpiceXpress has received approval for conducting drone trials from aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The airlines will utilise drones in delivery of essential supplies to remote areas, after the necessary trials and approvals, as per the release issued by the company, with the country sailing through a harrowing time due to the ongoing lockdown.

“A SpiceXpress-led consortium had submitted a proposal to the regulator for conducting experimental beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations of remotely piloted aircraft in response to a DGCA notice inviting expression of interest,” SpiceJet said.

SpiceXpress was granted permission for conducting experimental BVLOS operations as per the recommendations of the BVLOS Experiment Assessment and Monitoring Committee.

Utilising drone technology for last mile connectivity and cost-effective cargo deliveries is certainly an enormous step in the air transportation of essential and non-essential supplies in India, writes Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet.

SpiceXpress, which is the dedicated cargo wing of SpiceJet, has eight dedicated freighters in the fleet comprising five Boeing 737s and three Bombardier Q400s.

On Thursday, SpiceJet had announced how they converted three of its Bombardier Q400 passenger aircrafts into freighters, in a bid to address the increased demand.

“Post trials and approvals, SpiceXpress plans to use drones to provide for a quicker, faster and a cost-effective delivery of medical, pharma and essential supplies and e-commerce products,” the airline said.

It also said SpiceXpress will be looking at last-mile delivery from the warehouse and the prime focus will be on delivering medical emergency parcels and essential supplies in remote areas.

The company believed that drones will ensure a faster delivery bringing down costs and would go a long way to augment the airline’s business to offer express delivery of medicines, perishable items and e-commerce.

The airline is hopeful about using this new mode of delivery for essential products like perishables and medicines that have a smaller shelf-life and require immediate deliveries in the remotest parts of India, Mr Singh added.

Earlier this month, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) granted exemptions to 13 groups to conduct drone trials on an experimental basis. Post trials, SpiceXpress, the airline’s cargo arm, will focus on delivering medical emergency parcels and essential supplies including perishables, SpiceJet announced.

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