German firm launches drone delivery service

 German delivery firm DHL Parcel has announced the world`s first drone delivery service.

IANS| Last Updated: Sep 28, 2014, 16:14 PM IST

London: German delivery firm DHL Parcel has announced the world`s first drone delivery service.

"DHL Parcel will soon launch a unique pilot project on the North Sea island of Juist," the company said in a statement.

"For the first time worldwide, medications and other urgently needed goods will be delivered to the island (Juist) at certain times of the day by DHL `parcelcopter`," the company added.

"The flight route to the island of Juist is roughly 12 km. The flight will be completely automated for the first time. This means that a pilot does not have to take any action at all during any phase of the flight," the statement said.

The "parcelcopter" will take off from the harbour in Norddeich.

The drone can carry loads of up to 1.2 kg. The drone itself weighs 5 kg, according to DHL.

Once the drones land at Juist, the parcels (secured in a lightweight, weatherproof case) will be delivered to their recipients by a human courier.

For now, the company will be using the drones only when other delivery options are not available, and no plans are currently in the works to incorporate the parcelcopters into normal day-to-day deliveries, according to company officials.