Latin American drone delivery company, Speedbird Aero, announced it 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 and is now the first company in Latin America to win regulatory approval for a drone delivery operation.
A Hybrid Logistics Approach
Speedbird Aero has partnered with leading Latin American food delivery company, iFood, to offer an on-demand food delivery service that combines drone delivery with other forms of last-mile transportation, including motorcycles, bicycles, scooters, and e-bikes. The approved drone delivery routes will link two iFood Hubs with a food court and condominium complex, significantly reducing 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, where awaiting couriers 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 km away. This phase will enable a broader distribution footprint and is expected to begin by December, 2020. “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.
Safety as the Basis for Approval
Throughout the certification process that 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 the company’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, which took place on July 9th, 2020.
“All of these steps are part of a process that will culminate into a commercial product,” said Manoel Coelho, co-founder of Speedbird Aero.
Drone Delivery Initiatives Increase During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Whether delivering critical medical supplies or a fresh meal from a local restaurant, the aerial logistics capability of drone delivery is becoming increasingly sought-after by organizations, yet regulatory restrictions have proven to be the primary barrier to large-scale adoption. However, in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions, an increasing number of drone delivery initiatives have begun to gain additional traction, including Zipline, Flytrex, Rouses Markets, and Manna Delivery. In this domain, drones are proving their value as important tools for creating more resilient supply chains and socially-distanced delivery services.
“Drone logistics is a rapidly emerging industry, and ParaZero is at the forefront of drone safety. “This historic drone delivery approval aligns with our vision of enabling expanded drone services in urban environments.“
About ParaZero Limited
ParaZero (https://parazero.com/) was founded in 2014 to accomplish a vision to enable the drone industry to realize its greatest potential through enhancing safety and mitigating risk. ParaZero offers a smart and intuitive solution to enable drone industry growth by designing, developing and providing best-in-class autonomous safety systems for commercial drones.
About Speedbird Aero
Speedbird Aero (https://www.speedbird.aero) is the first company in Brazil and Latin America to develop and operate unmanned aerial systems (drones) to perform air transportation and delivery of products and medicines. In 2019, Speedbird started the certification process of the first remotely-piloted multirotor aircraft in Brazil, and the company’s goal is to continue developing drone delivery with its partners’ support and under the supervision of Brazilian aeronautical entities.