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.
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.
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.