It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…a drone.
A tech company based on Salt Spring Island has become the first company in the country to receive a licence from the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) to carry commercial goods by drone.
InDro Robotics Inc. has announced that it has been approved to operate a domestic air service, using drones for the carriage of cargo.
“This permission until now has only ever been issued to airlines and paves the way for a (literally) much wider range of Drone use,” says Philip Reece, CEO InDro Robotics Inc. “We have had several successful missions carrying medication and other health-related items to remote areas. This new license means we can ship anything up to 10 kilograms (other than people and animals) – important documents, artwork, jewels – basically anything a manned aircraft could.”
The new CTA license means the company plans on utilizing the “InDro Heavy Lift Wayfinder Drone” to ship increased cargo over longer distances.
At this moment in time, InDro has received extended distances approval from Transport Canada for 25 km deliveries. According to the company, researchers are working and hopeful this distance will expand to 200 km in the very near future. A more specific timeline on this distance increase has not been outlined at this moment.
“Our Canadian researchers and technologists together with the efforts of the CTA, and Transport Canada continue to advance Drone technology at a record pace,” said Reece. “We believe in the very near future our aircraft will be able to travel further and with more weight load, expanding Drone capabilities.”
Earlier this month, InDro Robotics said it received the Umanned Systems Canada (USC-STC) Organization Award for “its extraordinary contribution to the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) industry, extraordinary collaborative spirit, and always being at the forefront advancing RPAS technology.”
The Salt Spring Island company says that it has been working with regulators, air operators and the Vancouver Island Health Authority to establish a rapid way of providing COVID-related Drone support amid the global pandemic. This includes delivery support to a number of communities, hospitals and medical centres in British Columbia.
InDro Robotics also says that, back in 2019, it underwent trials with Canada Post and London Drugs and successfully tested Drone delivery of emergency medications over the Pacific Ocean for a short distance. This test involved utilizing a drone to deliver carry prescription medication a distance of six kilometres over the ocean from Duncan to Salt Spring Island.