First drone delivery touches down in Dun Laoghaire

Ireland’s first Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) approved parcel delivery by drone has successfully taken place in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin.

According to the IAA, the flight was organised by 10 years old Belle Moore, a student of Alexandra College Junior School, Milltown, as part of a science competition hosted by tech firm Intel.

The flight took place at 5pm and took two minutes to complete from take-off to parcel drop, with the drone taking the parcel, weighing 250 grams from the shoreline to a boat at sea almost 200 metres away.

It comes as online retailer Amazon continues a roll-out of drone delivery across the US and the UK.

The parcel contained medical supplies: an emergency thermal blanket, an Epi-pen, bandages, plasters, thermometer, first aid leaflet, gloves, wipes and burn dressings. It also contained food and a drink in the form of a high-energy bar and water. The supplies were attached to the underside of the drone in a waterproof container.

The IAA helped Belle with her research, providing her with details on the safety regulations for drone flight in Ireland.

The flight is the first parcel delivery drop by drone that the IAA has sanctioned in Ireland.

“We’re delighted with the success of the first official parcel delivery in Ireland via drone under controlled conditions which met all regulatory requirements. The application of drone technology is vast and the IAA will continue to foster, promote and encourage its use with the emphasis, as always, on safety,” said Ralph James, the IAA’s director of safety regulation.

“A significant amount of research is taking place all over the world to design systems which will enable drones to safely integrate with manned aviation. Drone delivery systems is one such application. Whatever procedures are introduced in the future must guarantee the safety of manned aviation and the safety of people on the ground in urban areas.”

He added: “We’d like to congratulate Belle on her great achievement and well done to all in involved. We wish Belle the best of luck at the Grand Finals of the Intel Mini Scientist Competition.” The event takes place in the Helix in DCU on Friday February 3.

Ireland was the first country in the world to introduce mandatory registration for all drones over 1kg. There are now over 6,000 drones and small aircraft registered with the IAA and the number continues to grow.