Canadian government invest in autonomous cargo flights

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Startup autonomous cargo airline Ribbit has secured financial backing from the Canadian Government.

Transport Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada have issued Ribbit a C$1.3m contract to begin flying autonomous aircraft that will improve supply chains to remote northern communities in the country, said the company in a LinkedIn post.

“From perishable foods to medical supplies and other time-sensitive goods, we are excited to take this next step in our mission to make fast and reliable transportation available to all,” said Ribbit,

Ribbit said it will equip Transport Canada with a single optionally piloted fixed-wing airplane along with remote crew and maintenance services to sustain autonomous cargo flights for a one-year period

The Government of Canada will then collect operational data in a bid to help drive evidence-based aviation regulations, standards, and policy.

Ribbit will fly in both urban areas (with an onboard safety pilot) and rural and remote regions (remotely piloted) along the same routes where it has signed agreements with retailers and wholesalers.

The company said it has already been issued a Special Flight Operations Certificate for flight testing without a pilot on board, and will expand on these approvals for operations along select routes in remote areas.

There are a number of other drone companies worldwide that are currently developing technology to prepare for operations. 

In June, Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) announced that Transport Canada had accepted the company’s declaration for its “Canary” remote piloted aircraft (RPA) to be operated over people.

Drone Delivery Canada hits development milestone

Dronamics carries out first test flight of Black Swan cargo drone

Ameriflight enters the drone era

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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]