In December 2020, a drone delivery flight paved the way for a new lifeline connection with the idyllic, yet remote, Isles of Scilly in the UK. The return flight from Land’s End Airport in West Cornwall to St Mary’s Airport on the Isles of Scilly was the first ever freight drone flight between two UK commercial airports.
Specially sanctioned by the UK’s CAA, the flight is helping to establish rules for drones to operate along an existing and well-used commercial air corridor, across two ATC areas.
The project was the result of a collaboration between the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, which for more than 100 years has provided transportation to the islands, and Hampshire-based UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) company Flylogix, experts in full-service over horizon operations.
While only 30 miles in distance each way, the flight took the unmanned aircraft over some of the UK’s most rugged scenery and out over the Atlantic, carrying an NHS supply box on the outward leg, and returning with a selection of local produce from the islands, including flowers and artisan gin.