China grants first operating license for pilot drone deliveries

Updated 2018-03-28 00:18:01 Xinhua

The first operating license to allow experimental drone deliveries in China has been granted to a courier, civil aviation authorities said Tuesday.

The East China Regional Administration of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) granted a subsidiary of China's leading courier SF Express the license in east China's Jiangxi Province. It allows the commercial operation of drone deliveries in a pilot zone in Nankang District in Jiangxi's Ganzhou City.

"The issue of the license means that drone transportation in China has entered a new stage," said Wang Zhiqing, deputy director of CAAC, adding that the technology was expected to benefit people in rural areas.

"SF Express will build a drone delivery network, expand delivery services in those remote areas of complex topography and improve its logistics efficiency," said Tian Min, a senior employee with SF Express.

Tian said the next step would be to expand the operation in the province and also the whole country.

Drone delivery tests have been carried out in Nankang District since June 2017.

Zhu Biying, living in Dagu Village in the pilot district, said he was confident in the drone delivery since none of the eggs were broken when transported by drones.

Previously, it was difficult to carry eggs or other farm products out of Zhu's mountainous hometown, which is around 10 kilometers away from the nearest township.

He said that the drone solved his problems, and some customers who ordered online could now receive his products even on the same day.

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