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Drone Delivery Canada expands testing to U.S.

Testing in 2018 will get underway at New York Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York.
Drone Delivery Canada has expanded its drone testing program to the U.S. (DDC photo)

Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) has announced it has expanded its testing program to the U.S.

On Jan. 15, the Vaughan-based company said it will start testing out its drone delivery technology at the New York Griffiss International Airport, located in Rome, New York, in the first quarter of 2018.

The pilot program will run through 2018, testing DDC’s Sparrow X1000 drone and proprietary FLYTE management software, designed to support semi-autonomous flight and beyond visual line of site flights designed for commercial drone deliveries.

“We have very strong interest from multiple commercial customers in the USA that not only want to test our drone delivery platform in Canada, but also in their own country as well,” CEO Tony Di Benedetto said in a news release.

“This pilot program will act as an extension of our primary Canadian initiatives and will expand our data collection ability.”

The test site at the Griffiss International Airport is approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration and is designated to conduct research vital to integrating UAS into the national airspace system, the release noted. The site is the fifth of six test sites that are operational in the U.S.

The company said the U.S. program would complement its Canadian testing program scheduled for 2018. The Canadian program will include testing flights beyond visual line of sight in Alma, Que.

DDC began testing its drone technology in Northern Ontario last year, delivering goods to remote Indigenous communities.