The past few years have seen cargo drones transforming from a nascent idea to a tried-and-true technology that can now transport online shopping delivers and essential medications to people's homes.
Turkey is one of the countries where the effort to use unmanned aerial vehicles in cargo transportation is gaining traction: The country has completed preliminary research for freight drones and is developing systems with plans to open a "drone transport route" between Istanbul, Eskişehir, and Ankara, according to a report by TRT, a state-owned public broadcasting news channel.
This is an ambitious claim since a drone taking off from Istanbul to Eskişehir would need to go 188.3 miles (303.1 km). For Ankara, the country's capital, that number would increase to a whopping 275.1 miles (442.8 km).
A new era for transport and logistics
Turkey stated that drone cargo transportation will be tied to strict rules, with the safety of aircraft, people, and birds being the ultimate concern. The drones used will be able to carry cargo up to 8.8 lbs (4 kg) through a determined air highway at a certain altitude. The next step will be to determine the specifics such as the route that'll be taken, the height at which the drones will fly, and the landing and take-off sites.
The country's General Directorate of Civil Aviation is also undertaking a comprehensive investigation on drones in Turkey. It has so far registered over 50,000 drones, with over 600,000 certified pilots.
No timeframe has been specified, and it's unclear how the country will meet this ambitious goal. With the right conditions and technology set, it may be just a matter of time until lofty milestones are met, like in the case of Wing, Alphabet's drone delivery service. The company has recently made 100,000 deliveries, thanks to the popularity it has found in Logan, Australia, a 300,000-person suburb of Brisbane. The residents have welcomed the drone delivery of cups of coffee, snack packs, and roast chickens, with the business especially booming during the pandemic. Such developments are astounding accomplishments for a technology that has yet to demonstrate its value on a wider scale.
Wing also intends to expand into larger cities in the future, and time will tell if Turkey can scale up this technology that has found remarkable success in the suburbs.