Cargo drone completes successful trial at Milan Malpensa

Milan’s Malpensa Airport handled its first electric drone shipment last night when a package was successfully transported four kilometres from the gateway’s cargo area to a nearby warehouse.

According to the Italian airport, a Nimbus drone from Techno Sky carried “a light load” from Milan Malpensa Cargo City to Barbarini & Foglia’s logistics warehouse, covering an 8-km round trip.

This test was made possible thanks to the European U-ELCOME (U-space European COMmon dEpLoyment) project, co-ordinated by EUROCONTROL within the context of the SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking consortium.

The test was co-funded by the European Union under the CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) programme, in which airport operator, SEA, has the role of co-ordinator of the Milan Sandbox.

The Sandbox is a physical or virtual controlled test environment where, after starting a dialogue with ENAC, challenging activities from a regulatory and technological point of view can be experimented for a limited period of time.

The project aims to test innovative solutions for cargo transport using drones and contribute to the development of U-space services, which are designed to ensure the safe and efficient access of drones to the airspace.

It is believed that this innovative transport method can optimise delivery times for goods, reduce CO2 emissions and promote environmental sustainability.

SEA notes that it collaborates with numerous Italian partners, including ENAV, D-flight, EuroUSC Italia, Telespazio, Techno Sky and Dronus in planning and developing flight campaigns, and with ENAC for regulatory issues and authorisations.

Further flights operated by Telespazio with Dronus and other operators are scheduled for the autumn of 2024 as part of the Italian Demonstration Cluster co-ordinated by ENAV.


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