Hyperlocal delivery startups like Dunzo, Swiggy, Zomato can begin to test fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drones for deliveries, after receiving permission from DGCA.
After multiple rounds of documentation, face to face meetings and scrutiny, the BEAM committee selected Zomato, Swiggy, Zipline, Redwing & Throttle Aerospace Systems for long-range or beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone experiments.
The consortia, which have received formal letters to start tests will need to clock at least 100 hours of flight time in airspace and submit their respective reports to the DGCA.
“In terms of commercial viability, there are many. For instance, logistics firms are interested in BVLOS and can use these drones to make faster and cheaper deliveries. We will however start with tests of critical items like medicines in the first phase, starting July," said Nagendran Kandasamy, founder and managing director of Throttle Aerospace systems.
The other consortiums also include SpiceXpress, the dedicated air cargo service of domestic airliner SpiceJet, which might look at delivery of cargoes through these tests.
In June, last year, Zomato had successfully tested its first drone delivery, for which it used a hybrid drone and covered a distance of 5 km in about ten minutes carrying a payload of 5 kg.