Food delivery via flying drones could soon become a reality in India. The Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has given a nod to food startups like Zomato, Swiggy, and Dunzo. The regulator has permitted over ten groups to start testing beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone flights. The test is likely to begin in the first week of July.
Companies like Amazon have already been testing the possibility of delivery via drones in the US for long since. This move is expected to create new opportunities and open the door for aerial surveillance that would help in disaster and military operations.
According to a report, budget airline SpiceJet, Reliance-backed drone startup Asteria Aerospace, Zomato, Swiggy, and Dunzo are among the 13 consortia that have received approvals from the aviation regulator to test fly drones. The test is likely to start in the first week of Jul and
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As of now, the approved groups will only be able to test fly drone deliveries and surveillance in a regulatory sandbox, under the supervision of a monitoring team. It will only be after this testing that a decision is taken on deliveries.
Last year, Zomato successfully completed a test delivery using drones. The drone carried a payload of 5 kg covered 5 km in 10 minutes with a peak speed of 80 kmph. Zomato had also acquired local drone startup TechEagle in 2018 for drone delivery.
The food industry has been affected badly due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and online orders had been dropped by 70 percent in the last two months. The contactless delivery could be a game-changer in the current condition.