Australian-based shopping centre developer, Mirvac, has announced a partnership with Wing Drone Delivery to use its craft for urban retail centres, reports

Australia is leading the way with ongoing Wing drone deliveries in the Queensland city of Logan and its surround between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, as well as around the country’s Capital, Canberra, in the Capital Territory. Wing recently celebrated its 300,000th delivery worldwide.

Simon Rossi

Simon Rossi, the company’s General Manager, commented, “The first place we’ll be working on together is a shopping centre in Ipswich, Queensland, from the middle of next year, where we’ll have a drone ‘nest’ on the car park rooftop of Mirvac’s retail property in Orion, Springfield. Mirvac has a number of retail centres all across Australia, so we’ll be looking at more future locations.”

He added, “We have mid and long-term plans for further expansion nationally, and in the next couple of years, we’ll be delivering to a much larger part of Australia.”

How It Works

The articles states, “Customers can go onto the Wing app, look at the store it’s servicing, pick out the item they require, and then order it. That article, up to a kilogram, is then picked, packed and prepared and taken to the rooftop, where drones are hovering seven metres in the air, already plotting their course. The item is then put onto the packaging dangling by a tether, and the drone speeds off at 110 kilometres per hour to its destination.” It continues, “On arrival, the drone again hovers off the ground, lowers the tether, releases the package and then departs back to its nest.”

Mirvac is looking at its shopping centres across Australia to see where each one has a suitable space, perhaps on rooftops, on the ground or even in unused parts of car parks, to establish the all-important drone delivery hubs or “nests”.

Benjamin Conlon, Mirvac National Manager of Retail Development, comments, “We have big plans to roll it out quickly over our network, but the reality is that it takes a while to get all the necessary approvals.”

He continues, “I thought drone delivery was something that was pretty futuristic and a lot further away in time, but we watched the pilot at Logan being launched, and I think we’re now all getting more used to the idea.”

Benjamin Conlon

Logan and Canberra were the first Australian locations chosen because of support from their local councils and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. It’s likely that the service will be established in suburban centres first as large city centres could be more problematic, with more air traffic, more density and more tall buildings and other obstacles.

Conlon remarks, “It does fit well with Mirvac’s perspective around introducing innovative projects and we are very focused on ideas that may help our retailers move closer to their customers.”

He concludes, “We’re always exploring ideas out there to create more value, and eventually, we’d like to think we’ll be able to deliver even to customers in city centres via their balconies. But at the moment, it’s one step at a time!”

Meanwhile, Wing is looking to expand into Europe next year on the back of air regulator, EASA, potentially offering the economically pivotal Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) to drone delivery companies. Presently, the company is advertising for a new Head of Europe position.

evtolinsights has recently published several stories about Wing’s tentative move to Ireland, offering drone delivery to local communites, as an initial stepping stone. The first location is at Lusk, an Irish community in Fingal, County Dublin, 12 miles north of Dublin city. Trials will begin at the end of this year.

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(Images: Wing)