Estimated delivery time
People often wonder how long it will be before they can order products by drone. The short answer is that they won’t be able to do so any time soon. That is unless they’re basically part of a state-sanctioned drone delivery trial like the one in Bonython, ACT.
The reality is that practical and legal issues present huge challenges to drone delivery becoming commonplace. Despite these challenges, it’s reasonable to expect that pathways will in time open up for businesses to deliver by drone.
Drone delivery trials in Bonython
“How’s the serenity?”. Some readers might know this famous phrase from the iconic Australian movie The Castle. They were the words of Aussie battler Darryl Kerrigan while basking in the tranquility of his holiday house at Bonnie Doon.
Apparently, the serenity isn’t that great these days in Bonython. In shades of The Castle, CASA has sanctioned a trial by Wing to conduct drone deliveries in the area. Here is a copy of the regulatory exemption. The regulatory exemption ends at the end of 31 May 2019. It is not clear whether Wing will cease trials earlier.
ACT Government Inquiry
The serenity is apparently bad enough that the ACT Legislative Assembly (Assembly) has set up an Inquiry. The Standing Committee on Economic Development and Tourism (Committee) has the role of inquiring into and reporting on drone delivery systems in the ACT. The Terms of Reference require it to examine a number of matters. These include:
1. The decision to base the trials of the technology in the ACT and the surrounding region
2. The economic impact of the tests
3. The extent of regulatory oversight
4. Environmental impacts
5. Impacts on residents
6. Information privacy
The Committee is scheduled to report to the Assembly by the last sitting week in 2019.
The great drone delivery rollout
Wing has apparently secured a warehouse in Mitchell from which to launch drone deliveries. It is apparently planning to make deliveries to premises in a number of other areas in the ACT. It also has one eye on expanding the service to all of Canberra along with other Australian cities and towns.
Many eyes (and ears) are fixed on the trials in Bonython and the results will help to inform drone delivery best practice going forward – both in Australia and abroad.
One final thing: take a quick look at this related story about the potential for delivery drones to be used as “marketing snoops”. What do you think?
Feature photo by Denys Nevozhai from Unsplash.