Airbus Helicopters has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Singapore Post (SingPost) to trial the new Skyways drone-enabled parcel delivery project.

Under the deal, SingPost will be Airbus’ logistics partner in the experimental Skyways project to develop a safe and economically viable aerial unmanned parcel delivery system that can be used in urban environments.

Airbus Helicopters has designed the overall system of Skyways and will provide its capabilities in drone platforms and its future parcel delivery concept.

The concept includes systems and structures that allow drones to land or dock with secure structures, discharge or take on payloads, and then fly off to other destinations.

As part of the new MoU, SingPost will provide its expertise in software systems that control and manage delivery networks, customer-interface systems and real-time back-end links to a delivery system.

SingPost will also offer its knowledge of postal and eCommerce logistics trends for the project.

“The project has been progressing well and we welcome SingPost onboard as our logistics partner in this critical phase."

Airbus Helicopters engineering executive vice­-president Jean-Brice Dumont said: “Skyways was launched with the intent to provide highly efficient, reliable and seamless small parcel deliveries using drones in urban cities.

“The project has been progressing well and we welcome SingPost onboard as our logistics partner in this critical phase, as we work in tandem to develop a robust autonomous parcel delivery system that will revolutionise the logistics industry.

“A forerunner in innovation, Airbus strongly believes in improving daily lives by enhancing air mobility in urban spaces, in a safe, secure and reliable manner.”

A MoU was also signed in February between Airbus Helicopters and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore to conduct a Skyways proof-of-concept trial.

The Skyways research and development phase is currently at an advanced stage, and the project is scheduled to go for an initial trial at National University of Singapore (NUS) by early next year.

Image: Deal signing between Airbus Helicopters and SingPost representatives. Photo: courtesy of Airbus Helicopters.