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Skye Air Drones And Blue Dart Revolutionize Gurugram Deliveries

In an innovative leap for urban logistics, residents of Fresco in Gurugram’s Nirvana Country, along with two other local societies, have started receiving their parcels via drones, thanks to a pioneering partnership between Skye Air and Blue Dart. The collaboration promises to transform delivery times from hours to mere minutes. Skye Air, a National Capital […]

In an innovative leap for urban logistics, residents of Fresco in Gurugram’s Nirvana Country, along with two other local societies, have started receiving their parcels via drones, thanks to a pioneering partnership between Skye Air and Blue Dart. The collaboration promises to transform delivery times from hours to mere minutes.

Skye Air, a National Capital Region-based startup, has teamed up with the logistics giant Blue Dart, part of the DHL Group, to implement drone deliveries. This initiative began a few weeks ago and is already making waves in the community. According to Ankit Kumar, CEO of Skye Air, delivery times have been slashed dramatically from the conventional one-hour window to just 7-8 minutes using drones. “We operate from our hub in Sector 70-71 in Gurugram,” Kumar explained. “The drone takes off from there and flies to a designated Skye Pod in a residential complex. Currently, we have activated Skye Pods in three societies for Blue Dart.”

The drones operate in the early morning hours, from 6 am to 11 am, to avoid the intense midday heat that often reaches 50°C during the summer. “We avoid flying between 11 am and 6 pm,” Kumar added, underscoring the operational challenges posed by the region’s extreme temperatures. These Skye Pods are specialized containers where drones drop off parcels, which are then collected by last-mile delivery executives, affectionately known as “Skyewalkers.” These Skyewalkers ensure the final leg of the delivery, bringing the package directly to the customer’s doorstep.

Skye Air has strategically utilized “green zones” in Gurugram for these operations. These zones, which include areas like Golf Course Extension, SPR, New Gurugram, Dwarka Expressway, and Sector 50, allow drone operations without needing prior permission from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). However, obtaining local administrative permissions to service these residential societies required navigating a complex web of approvals. “We had to take numerous approvals,” Kumar admitted. “Although regulatory processes have improved, they still pose significant hurdles.”

In addition to the three active Skye Pods for Blue Dart deliveries, Skye Air has installed over 80 pods across various housing societies in Gurugram. Kumar mentioned that some of these pods are also active for drone deliveries with other partners, though he refrained from naming these partners due to confidentiality agreements.

Kumar advocates for the broader adoption of drones in e-commerce, citing environmental benefits and improved welfare for delivery executives. He highlighted the often-overlooked challenges faced by traditional delivery personnel, such as unsuccessful delivery attempts that result in no compensation. In contrast, Skye Air’s system ensures parcels remain secure in the Skye Pods until successfully delivered or collected, providing a more reliable and efficient service.

“The biggest challenge today is for the delivery riders,” Kumar noted. “In our system, if a delivery attempt is unsuccessful, the package remains in the Pod. The next day, a customer can retrieve it directly from the Pod with the help of a Walker.”

This partnership between Skye Air and Blue Dart marks a significant step forward in urban logistics, showcasing the potential of drone technology to revolutionize delivery services, making them faster, more reliable, and environmentally friendly.

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