Royal Mail Group PLC (LON:RMG) is to trial the use of drones to deliver Covid-19 kits to remote locations.
The first trial will be on the Isles of Scilly with the Mail using an autonomous drone to fly parcels the 70 miles between the UK mainland and the island’s St Mary’s Airport.
Smaller drones (VTOs) will then distribute the items to delivery points across the isles.
Amy Richards, local postwoman for the Isles of Scilly, said: “It’s great to be involved in this initiative. There are some really remote areas on these islands, and this is a terrific way to help us reach them.
“It’s really important for us to do all we can to help all areas of the country stay connected – especially in these difficult times.”
Charles Scales, CEO at trial’s drone supplier Windracers, said: “This project has proven the efficiency and robustness of ULTRA, with each round trip being 211km and being completed in less than two hours.”
A twin-engine Windracers drone, which can carry up to 100kg worth of mail at a time will carry the parcels from the UK with the delivery round carried out by a drone operated by Skyports.
If successful, Royal Mail said it would extend the trial to other remote parts of the country.
In December, the postal service started to use drones to deliver parcels to the lighthouse on the Isle of Mull in Scotland and talks are underway with residents about deliveries to other parts of the island.