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World’s longest-distance drone delivery service launches in Norway



Norwegian start-up Aviant has expanded its drone delivery service, which can weather the harsh winter in this ski town.


Delivery services for locals and tourists in the opulent Norwegian ski resort town of Lillehammer just got a lot more exclusive.

The Norwegian start-up Aviant on Tuesday expanded its drone delivery service to 4,000 people living in the Lillehammer suburbs as it launched the longest-range drone deliveries in the world.

The suburbians can order deliveries through the company’s Kyte app and can order about 1.5kg worth of goods such as medicine, groceries, and meals from independent restaurants. They can expect an average delivery time of 24 minutes.

The drones will operate within a radius of 17km, nearly six times that of traditional drones, even in the country’s harsh winter climate.

As the competition for delivery services like Uber Eats and Deliveroo heats up on the ground, there is still an uphill battle of legal restrictions and airspace limitations for drone delivery systems. But Aviant has regulatory approval to operate in EU airspace in Lillehammer.

“This represents a significant moment for autonomous drone delivery in Europe: when the benefits to consumers and the environment move from the hypothetical phase and into viable real-world application,” said Lars Erik Fagernæs, CEO and co-founder of Aviant.

The drones, which were developed during the COVID-19 pandemic to deliver medical supplies, can operate and deliver payloads in high winds of up to 12 metres per second and temperatures that routinely dip operate below -15°C.

Another point of interest for the future of delivery services is that the Aviant drone emits 95 per cent less carbon dioxide than an electric car.

Fagernæs said that delivery drones are “no longer considered a gimmick limited by distance and climate, but a means to support businesses and people whilst slashing emissions. We plan an imminent roll-out beyond Norway”.

But Aviant has competition. Ireland’s drone start-up Manna plans to expand into other European countries and Alphabet-owned drone delivery company Wing has been operating in Ireland and Finland.

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