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Experiments with cargo drone flights

The MIN market of Rungis wants to optimize last-mile logistics

For one week, the International Market of Rungis conducted a series of unprecedented tests for parcel delivery via drone, with the Dragonflypads company and its partners.

At the Rungis market, Dragonflypads installed a docking station, also called vertiport, capable of accommodating surveillance and cargo drones of any brand. This hybrid infrastructure, between service station and airport, can operate drones safely, sheltered from bad weather, offering secure storage and an efficient recharging station.

For one week, the company carried out about 50 tests, transporting goods by drone within the market, with its partner Pilgrim Technologies and the participation of several wholesalers: all of them were able to observe the possibilities offered by these versatile devices 100% made in France. From exotic fruits to car parts, from a defibrillator to champagne, various fragile products were transported successfully, during the day and at night.

A first experiment was set up on the market in July 2021 with surveillance drones authorized by the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC), in order to ensure the safety of the people working on the market and help inspect the infrastructure.

A new step has been taken with the use of cargo drones in a dense urban area. Flying over a commercial zone such as the Rungis market is a first in France. It was authorized by the French Civil Aviation Authority after a very rigorous process. This project was subsidized by the Ile-de-France region.

“I am delighted with these first cargo flight tests which suggest very interesting possibilities for last-mile logistics within the market. I thank Dragonflypads and the wholesalers who participated in the experiment for this innovative partnership. The Rungis market is a forerunner in the delivery methods of the future,” according to Stéphane Layani, president-general director of SEMMARIS.

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