Speedbird Aero receives regulatory approval to operate two experimental drone delivery routes in Brazil

Speedbird Aero, a Latin American drone delivery company, has become the first company in Latin America to win regulatory approval for a drone delivery operation, as the company has received regulatory approval from Brazil's National Civil Aviation Agency, also known as ANAC, to operate two experimental drone delivery routes in Brazil.

Speedbird Aero operates a proprietary delivery drone with an integrated ParaZero parachute recovery system. The company has partnered with a Latin American food delivery company called iFood to offer an on-demand food delivery service that combines drone delivery with other forms of last-mile transportation such as motorcycles, bicycles, scooters, and e-bikes. The approved drone delivery routes will link two iFood Hubs with a food court and condominium complex, and will greatly reduce ground transportation time typically required for deliveries.

For the first delivery route, drones will pick up orders from the rooftop of a large shopping complex in São Paulo and transport them to a nearby iFood pickup hub. Couriers waiting at the hub will shuttle orders to their final destinations. Each delivery route will take the drones approximately two minutes to fly. 

For the second delivery route, drones will fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) to a secondary iFood pickup hub approximately 1.5 kilometers away. According to Speedbird Aero, this phase, which is expected to begin by December of this year, will enable a broader distribution footprint.

“Our goal is to continue the development of unmanned aerial logistics in Brazil and Latin America with safety in mind,” says Samuel Salomão, Speedbird Aero's co-founder.

Throughout the certification process, which took more than one year to complete, ANAC regulators assessed the safety management and risk mitigation planning aspects of Speedbird Aero's operations, which included a ParaZero autonomous parachute system for each delivery drone in Speedbird Aero's fleet. As part of the certification process, Speedbird Aero was required to perform six parachute deployments, including a final live parachute deployment in front of a team of ANAC officials on July 9.

“All of these steps are part of a process that will culminate into a commercial product,” says Manoel Coelho, co-founder of Speedbird Aero.