How do you feel about the prospect of a latte delivered within five minutes on a lazy Sunday morning - by drone? Well, it seems that this could soon be the reality for some householders in the UK and possibly as soon as the early part of 2024.
A Dublin-based start-up drone delivery company, Manna, is already delivering coffee, hot food and pharmacy items in Ireland. It has now applied for a licence with the Civil Aviation Authority to launch a similar service in a British suburb, although the exact location is yet to be confirmed. The 10-15 autonomous aircraft are expected to achieve 500-1000 deliveries a day, with deliveries generally achieved within 3 minutes from ordering.
These numbers are a drop in the ocean given that the UK currently enjoys over 900m food deliveries and takeaways each year. There should therefore be good prospects for growth in drone deliveries if the launch goes well - which may, of course, concern some. The pace of change has been slow to date, but the CAA now appears to be making progress towards allowing autonomous drones - albeit that it is currently only granting licences in areas where there are no other aircraft.
Charles Russell Speechlys has been advising for some time that property owners and developers should be preparing and designing for this technology. Given that the reality of drone deliveries in the UK is now on the immediate horizon, anyone who has not started investigating the options should probably do so at the earliest opportunity.
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