Three-Week BVLOS Drone Delivery Trials Are Being Held At Dubai Silicon Oasis In An Initial
Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the specialised economic zone for innovation and knowledge and member of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ), hosted a groundbreaking three-week-long Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone delivery trials conducted by Jeebly LLC, a leading UAE-based logistics service provider and Skye Air Mobility, India’s most prominent SaaS based autonomous drone delivery company.
The testing was conducted in cooperation with the Dubai Future Foundation, the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Dubai Silicon Oasis at the Dubai Experimental Zone in DSO. The zone serves as a real-world test-bed for developing, evaluating and demonstrating robotics and autonomous systems. It was established as part of the Dubai Program to Enable Drone Transportation, launched in November 2021 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council.
Eng. Muammar Al Katheeri, Chief Officer of Engineering and Sustainability at DIEZ, said: “Since its inception, DSO has prioritised supporting ambitious entrepreneurs who utilise advanced technologies to offer smart city solutions. In line with its status as a hub for innovation and knowledge and the Dubai Master Plan 2040, DSO joined the Dubai Program to Enable Drone Transportation. Since then, we have welcomed numerous innovators across various sectors and industries to test-run their drone delivery concepts. We are delighted to collaborate with Skye Air and Jeebly in piloting their BVLOS drone delivery systems at DSO and offer our expertise to support the success of their trials.”
Ahmad Hasan Belqaizi, Executive Director of the aviation Safety and Environment Sector at the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, stated: “The success of the initial trials holds immense significance in identifying the regulatory and operational aspects that need to be developed and improved to create a strong foundation for enhancing the efficiency of commercial transport operations using drones. Reaching this goal requires strategic cooperation between the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and its strategic partners involved in the project: Dubai Future Foundation and Dubai Silicon Oasis. This cooperation aims to enhance security and safety standards, enabling public and private entities to use drones to provide the desired services. It will regulate activities related to the use of drones and create an environment conducive to investment in this sector to contribute to the strategy to make Dubai a centre for the drone industry and smart and innovative air transportation systems.”
“We are excited to take the next step in the last-mile logistics revolution,” said Raman Pathak, CEO of Jeebly. “With this leap forward in drone deliveries, we aim to increase the efficiency of our transportation services by utilising drones for various purposes. Dubai provides the advanced infrastructure that enables us to test new drone solutions and ensure we are constantly innovating our services. This explorative drone project represents an effective and environmentally responsible solution for delivering small to medium-sized packages, in line with the Universal Postal Union’s (UPU) sustainable development objectives. By supporting this project, we are confident that we can achieve our goals of being leaders in sustainability and efficiency through logistics,” he added.
The trial showcased the safe and secure transportation of a wide range of consumer goods within the Dubai Silicon Oasis. The drone used for the trials, Skye Ship One, is Skye Air’s flagship, which comes with Skye Connect (proprietary connectivity system), Skye Tunnel (navigation system), Multiple Safety systems including but not limited to parachutes, collision avoidance, and more.
Skye Air’s Founder and CEO, Ankit Kumar, emphasised the potential of drones to transform the logistics industry. “Skye Air is committed to pushing the boundaries of drone technology, and our partnership with Jeebly to participate in the Dubai programme reflects this shared ambition. We thank the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Future Foundation, Dubai Silicon Oasis, and all other programme stakeholders for making it possible. Skye Ship One is the most reliable drone in India, having conducted over 1,700 flights. And it represents a significant leap forward in the world of logistics, and we are confident that this BVLOS trial will demonstrate the potential of drones to revolutionise last-mile delivery,” he said.
Khalifa Al Qama, Director of Dubai Future Labs, confirmed that this new project supports Dubai’s efforts to develop and expand the applications of drones in collaboration with government entities, private companies, and regulatory bodies. “This contributes to the creation of futuristic and high-quality solutions originating from Dubai, aimed at utilising drone technology to enhance the efficiency of diverse service and economic sectors,” he concluded.
The Dubai Program to Enable Drone Transportation is one of the pivotal initiatives aimed at implementing and activating the Dubai Sky Dome policy approved by The Executive Council in December 2018. The fundamental goal of the initiative is to develop the infrastructure for airspace for unmanned aerial vehicles for connecting various locations and buildings within the emirate through designated landing strips and airports designed explicitly for transporting passengers and goods via drones.
As part of the initiatives and projects undertaken within the framework of this policy, the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority has issued comprehensive standards and legislation to regulate the use of drones. A key example is Law No. (4) Of 2020, which explicitly addresses drones’ governance and related services, strongly emphasises ensuring security and safety. This legislation falls under the scope of the Dubai Shield programme for drone security, complemented by the effective implementation of the Dubai Air Traffic Management System for drones. These measures collectively contribute to establishing a robust regulatory framework that fosters responsible drone usage while maintaining the utmost levels of security and safety in Dubai’s airspace.