Drone deliveries will soon be taking off from the international airport

Drones delivering commercial packages will soon be taking off from the Edmonton International Airport (EIA), following a successful flight Friday.

A Sparrow drone from Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) flew from EIA to a site in Leduc County, the first time such a flight has been approved by NAV CANADA, according to the airport.

“This logistics operation is a major step towards the future modernization of supply chains,” said EIA in a news release. “The Sparrow drone will soon be carrying commercial cargo packages on behalf of clients Ziing Final Mile and Apple Express.”

Airport officials and DDC have spent months working with NAV CANADA to create new approvals and safety procedures to allow these types of drone flights, as airspace around airport is highly restricted for safety, added EIA.

“These initial flights will create the template for future operations that could include deliveries into populated areas, such as Edmonton or other major centres, as well as Indigenous communities and Northern communities.”

Airport officials added that the drones could be used to deliver time-sensitive medical products and access locations where vehicle access has been disrupted while helping reduce emissions.