With an eye towards developing UAS for package deliveries across Canada, Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) has announced that it will begin conducting tests of its technologies at Alberta’s Foremost Centre for Unmanned Systems. Tests will begin in the first quarter of this year.
“Unmanned vehicles are the fastest growing sector of the aerospace industry right now,” says Doug Hanna, manager of the Foremost UAS Range, through the Calgary Sun
“So this is a timely thing, not just for Canada but for those foreign companies that want to come and fly here, too.”
Testing at Foremost, which is Canada’s first approved UAS test range, will allow Drone Delivery Canada to focus on beyond visual line of sight flights, as Foremost was granted permission by Transport Canada last November to begin BVLOS flight testing.
Some of the features that make Foremost an ideal testing place include 700 square nautical miles of restricted airspace up to 18,000 feet above sea level, a mixed short grass ecosystem that doesn’t have trees or forest, and visual flight weather 90 percent of the year.
“It's great for us,” says Drone Delivery Canada CEO Tony Di Benedetto. “It (the Foremost site) gives us wide-open spaces to take our testing to the next level.” From a company release
, Di Benedetto adds, “this progression marks a significant milestone for us as we move closer in obtaining our compliant operator certification status to operate commercially with our customers in Canada.”
So far, DDC has signed deals with Staples and NAPA Auto Parts, and the company hopes its drone delivery logistics platform is ready for commercial rollout by late 2017 or early 2018.
DDC also conducts tests in the Waterloo, Ont., region.
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