In the last few years, cargo drones have transformed from a nascent idea into a tried and true technology that can now transport supplies for online shopping and essential medicines to people’s homes.
Turkey is one of the countries where efforts to use unmanned aerial vehicles to transport cargo are gaining momentum: The country has completed preliminary studies on cargo drones and is developing systems with plans to open an “unmanned transport route” between Istanbul, Eskisehir and Ankara, according to a TRT report, a state news channel for public broadcasting.
This is an ambitious statement, as a drone flying from Istanbul to Eskisehir will have to travel 303.1 km. For Ankara, the country’s capital, that number will increase to a whopping 442.8km.
A new era in transport and logistics
Turkey has said that the transport of drones will be subject to strict rules, with the safety of aircraft, people and birds being the biggest concern. Used drones will be able to I transport goods up to 8.8 pounds (4 kg) through a specified airway at a specified height. The next step will be to determine the specifics such as the route to be taken, the altitude at which the drones will fly, and the places for landing and takeoff.
The country’s General Directorate of Civil Aviation is also undertaking a comprehensive investigation into drones in Turkey. So far, it has registered more than 50,000 drones, with more than 600,000 certified pilots.
No deadlines have been set and it is unclear how the country will achieve this ambitious goal. Under the right conditions and technology, it can only be a matter of time until high milestones are reached, as in the case of Wing, Alphabet’s drone delivery service. The company has recently made 100,000 deliveries, thanks to the popularity it has found in Logan, Australia, a suburb of 300,000 people in Brisbane. Residents welcomed the delivery of drones with cups of coffee, snack packs and roast chicken, with business booming especially during the pandemic. Such developments are astonishing advances in technology that it is yet to demonstrate its value on a larger scale.
Wing also intends to expand into larger cities in the future, and time will tell whether Turkey can expand this technology, which has achieved remarkable success in the suburbs.