A Quebec company has just received permission from Transport Canada to conduct drone delivery tests between Varennes and Repentigny, east of Montreal. It says it wants to offer a “low-cost” solution to companies with “light packages” to transport from one bank to another, as a result of the partial closure of the Louis-Hippolyte-Lafontaine tunnel.
Posted at 3:17 p.m
DroneTechnic, a young company from Varennes, has been given the go-ahead by the federal government to conduct “connectivity tests” between the two cities, a document signed by a Transport Canada inspector and dated Nov. 2 shows, including Press got a copy.
However, it will still be some time before shipments can be delivered to businesses in this corridor. “Once the tests are done, we will have to get a second permit, precisely to carry out commercial operations,” says company founder Michel Lizotte.
However, according to him, these tests should not take too long. “We’re talking about a corridor of about four kilometers, so it’s like assessing what would be best between a cellular LTE cellular link, or rather an RF link, or even seeing if there are differences between day and night flight. with moisture in the air. In short, something like that. And it can go fast,” continues the entrepreneur.
Mr. Lizotte, also a trained pilot, already received permission from Transport Canada last April to provide theoretical and practical training in the operation of BVLOS, the act of navigating a drone without direct line of sight, especially in an urban environment.
Up to 17 pounds, “limited” volume
The DroneTechnic drone could deliver packages weighing up to 17 pounds, but with “limited” volume, and transport them from one shore to the other in less than 5 minutes, up to ten times per hour. If its commercial activities are allowed, it would be the first aerial delivery corridor of its kind in Quebec, from one warehouse to another.
“We are late in Quebec and we have proof that it works in Montreal. Company-to-company drone delivery is already being done elsewhere in other Canadian provinces, notably British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. In fact, it’s rather ironic that we don’t do that much in Quebec yet. With the river, there are many opportunities to cross the banks,” continues Mr. Lizotte.
What he lacks now are partners. “I especially need the companies in Repentigny and Varennes who have difficulties with the La Fontaine tunnel and who need this service.” We have the knowledge, we have the green light. Now, if we find people who will start the project, we will have everything we need to leave,” summarizes the main interested party.
It also reminds participating companies that its drone delivery solution is “turnkey” and “zero carbon footprint.”
Transport Canada spokeswoman Allison St-Jean confirms that there have already been “trials or flight tests of drone package delivery” in several provinces, including Quebec. However, these are all “pilot projects” for now.