Companies Complete Drone Delivery Flight in the Bahamas

Deliveries via drone to places like the Bahamas are expected to be speedier than transit options like ferry and land.

July 11, 2019      

As part of a partnership to begin on-demand drone delivery services to the Bahamas, Volans-i and Fli Drone said today they successfully completed a long-range unmanned aerial vehicle delivery in June 2019.

The delivery began at Abaco Aviation Services, a private fixed-based operator (FBO) at the Leonard M. Thompson International Airport in Marsh Harbor, and completed it at Green Turtle Cay in 28 minutes, the company said. Previously, the same delivery would require transit in a car and on a ferry. Vertical take-off and landing capabilities allowed the drone to land and safely deliver its payload, covering nearly 50 miles over land and water, the companies said. They added that the flight was also the first time a UAV operated in controlled airspace at an active commercial international airport outside of emergency operations.

“Volans-i is excited to embark on this strategic partnership with Hogfish Ventures and offer drone delivery services in the Bahamas through Fli Drone,” said Hannan Parvizian, CEO and co-founder at Volans-i. “We see the Bahamas as a nation that is willing and wanting to adapt to match the pace of technology. Innovation in delivery systems, such as the leaps that drone delivery systems have enabled, should allow everyone to have new ways to tackle the challenge of getting supplies where they need them at the exact moment they need them.”

“The Bahamas is the most opportunistic area in the world for UAV deployment and development,” said Robert T. Sweeting, CEO and co-founder of Hogfish Ventures. “Our inter-island nation can greatly benefit from a streamlined supply chain, capable of delivering goods to any island with minimal infrastructure.”

Over the next six to 12 months, Fli Drone plans to expand their on-demand aerial delivery services in the Bahamas to more than 70 locations, serviced from two main hubs with a capacity of transporting 1,000 lbs. of cargo per day. Fli said it can deliver perishables, mail, mechanical parts, and medicine through its long-range, high-payload UAVs.