Spicejet‘s freighter arm SpiceXpress has received the Indian aviation regulator DCGA’s (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) approval to conduct drone trials, the company announced today. The service will reportedly focus on delivering medical emergency parcels and essential supplies in remote areas as well as e-commerce shipments.
As a response to the DCGA’s notice inviting expression of Interest, a Spice-Jet led consortium has submitted a proposal to the regulator requesting approval for conducting experimental Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations of remotely piloted aircrafts. The consortium included Throttle Aerospace, a drone manufacturing company, Aelogic, an analytics and software solution firm and Involia, which works for the providence of air traffic awareness collision avoidance services.
Based on the recommendations of the BLVOS Experiment Assessment and Monitoring committee, the consortium was granted permission to conduct experimental activities. Post trials and approvals, the drone will begin to provide deliveries ensuring faster, quicker and more cost-effective service compared to other modes. This is especially advantageous in the delivery of certain medications that have shorter shelf lives as well as perishable essential items.
Highlighting the significance of the new mode of delivery, Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director of the company said “Testing of drone technology for last mile connectivity and cost effective cargo deliveries is a big leap in the air transportation of essential and non-essential supplies in India”.
The company seems to be confident of its proposed plans through the SpiceXpress fleet which includes eight freighters, comprising five Boeing 737s and three Bombardier q400s. “We are extremely optimistic about using this exciting new mode of delivery for products like perishable and medicines which have a smaller shelf life and need urgent deliveries in the remotest parts of India” said Singh.
The proposed endeavour will go a long way in terms of augmenting business for SpiceJet, which is already the largest air cargo operator in the country.