Almost one month after gaining Transport Canada’s approval to test its cargo delivery drones in two northern Ontario communities, Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) has announced that its X1000 Sparrow drone has been accepted as a compliant unmanned aircraft system (UAS).
The Sparrow drone is a cargo delivery drone capable of carrying up to 10 pounds of payload and travelling a straight-line distance of 60 kilometres.
Tony Di Benedetto, DDC’s CEO, told MobileSyrup in a phone interview that the Sparrow is the first drone of its kind to be accepted as a Transport Canada compliant UAS vehicle.
“We’ve been on this path to getting what is called a Compliant Status Operator’s Certificate, so we’ve been working with our stakeholders, the regulator, the government, everybody really there, and the first phase to getting our certificate is getting our UAV [accepted],” said Di Benedetto. “It’s a very difficult process and it’s really either a go or no-go type of idea.”
However, gaining Transport Canada’s compliance for the Sparrow drone is only the first of three steps necessary to secure full certification.
Next, Transport Canada needs to certify DDC’s staff, and certify that DDC as an organization “in good standing order,” according to Di Benedetto.
“We’re confident that we’re fine with these other two and we’ll our…certificate in very short time,” said Di Benedetto.
DDC first began testing its drones in October 2016. As of November 2016, DDC has been regularly testing its drones in the northern Ontario communities of Moose Factory and Moosonee.
Di Benedetto expects that his company will be fully compliant by “early next year.”
“So it’s very good news for us,” said Di Benedetto. “It’s really a pinnacle that we’ve achieved and we’re ahead.”
Source: Drone Delivery Canada
Update 20/12/17: Certain instances of “approved” and “certified” have been altered to “accepted” and “compliant,” for the sake of accuracy.