Last Friday, a DJI Matrice 210 RTK delivered a package to the world's largest ship, the ‘Pioneering Spirit' from Allseas. The drone delivery is part of a project organized by Dutch Drone Delta, Allseas, and the Port of Rotterdam Authority, to test how unmanned aircraft can be used to improved transportation within the port of Rotterdam.
“Utilising new technologies allows us to make our port smarter, more streamlined, more efficient and safer. The current pilot project is a prime example: it makes a significant contribution to more efficient transport in general; and in due time, it will specifically help to reduce the pressure on our road network. We intend to safely structure our airspace under the slogan ‘Rotterdam, the safest port to fly'. The results of this pilot project can also serve as input for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management when it drafts the required legislation and regulations. This will enable Rotterdam's port business community to take optimal advantage of these new developments,” says Port Authority adviser Ingrid Römers.
Matrice 210 in action
To facilitate safe drone operations the airspace over the port is especially managed to make “Rotterdam, the safest port to fly.”
Stephan van Vuren, one of the people behind the Dutch Drone Delta initiative: “The sky's the limit when it comes to using drones in the port area. Incident prevention and control, for instance; or water pollution; firefighting; monitoring port operations or damage. Other examples include everything from systems and bridge inspections, construction and maintenance of infrastructure, and deliveries to ships and oil rigs, to the rapid medical transport of blood and human organs. And in the longer term, we may even be seeing heavy freight deliveries and passenger transport! This pilot project in the port of Rotterdam has allowed us to directly demonstrate the added value of Drone Technology in a complex environment.”
Drones can offer a very efficient and cost-effective means of delivering packages when time is of the essence and specifically in areas where it is not always easy to get from A to B, such as in a harbor.
According to Allseas PR manager Jeroen Hagelstein, the offshore industry could also benefit from this new delivery option: “As a provider of technical services to the offshore industry, we are continuously pushing the existing technical boundaries. Pioneering Spirit is the example. With this pilot, we want to test whether drones could be an effective means to quickly and efficiently deliver materials to our vessels. Helicopter, for example, are not always available on every location. Drone delivery can be of added value when we are in urgent need of parts which we can't repair ourselves – for example network switches or computer chips.”
Let us know what you think about the Matrice 210 in the comments below.
In the United States, you can deliver packages by drone under a Part 135 certification as UPS has been able to achieve. However, it is not easy to get a Part 135 certificate as your drone delivery operation will be classified as an air carrier operation.
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