23 August 2021

More Canberrans turning to drone delivery during COVID-19 lockdown

| Damien Larkins
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A Wing delivery drone over two people

For Canberrans in COVID-19 lockdown, drone delivery is a convenient way to stock up with supplies. Photo: Wing.

The demand for drone delivery is rising rapidly during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown as Canberrans look to the skies for their essential items (and a few treats).

From hot coffee to cold ice-cream, and everyday staples in between, Wing Canberra’s drones can deliver.

Since the lockdown began, the company has increased its service from five to seven days a week.

In the past week, the company has had a significant jump to more than 1500 deliveries to homes in Crace, Franklin, Harrison and Palmerston, and essential businesses in Mitchell.

Wing Australia spokesperson Jesse Suskin says contact-free drone delivery is perfectly suited to the current lockdown situation.

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“It’s been very, very busy,” he says. “We’ve been able to step up to [cater to] increased demand as even more people have found themselves at home than during previous lockdowns.

“Significantly more of our customers are actually in isolation during this period.”

There’s a range of goods that isolated Canberrans are after, including bread, butter, breakfast items, office stationery and colouring books.

“It makes sense that during times such as this you probably wouldn’t run out just to get a litre of milk or a loaf of bread,” says Jesse.

So far, Wing is keeping up with the extra demand.

A Wing drone delivers to a house

The Wing drones can even deliver gelato for home-school breaks. Photo: Wing Australia.

One item in particular is proving a particular favourite for students doing home schooling.

“We deliver gelato from Pure Gelato in Mitchell,” says Jesse.

“They shut their retail location, but they’re still able to offer their product to customers by way of drone delivery.

“In particular, if you have kids looking for a break in between home schooling, it can be a fun treat for sure.”

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It’s not just people stuck at home who are seeing the benefits.

Wing’s Canberra suppliers are expanding their drone delivery options, too.

“A lot of local businesses have stepped up to increase their supply and offerings, just knowing people aren’t able to leave their homes,” says Jesse.

Wing has learnt from previous lockdowns and adapted to demand.

Last year, the company delivered chocolate eggs to areas in lockdown during Easter.

Wing's drone delivery facility in Mitchell

Wing delivers to Gungahlin suburbs from its drone facility in Mitchell. Image: Wing.

It’s hoped the recent growth of drone deliveries will help Wing expand its services in Australia.

“It certainly puts drone delivery in a more unique or different light,” says Jesse.

“We know people always found it convenient, but it really does show the value of small, convenient-sized deliveries with no human contact.”

Jesse says the company is talking with regulators, the ACT Government and the community to offer drone delivery to more Canberra suburbs in the future.

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There were so many drones flying past my house that I decided to count them. In 4 days this week, i have had 63 drones fly past. Awful!

Drone delivery is not available across all of Canberra though.

I know in my area of Tuggeranong, there are no drones allowed, never heard or seen one once.

I WFH pretty much since early 2020.

They had drones in Bonython however the community hated them and formed an action group to get rid of them.

This article is very one sided in favour of Wing. The reality experienced by people having to live with the drones is very different. The Bonython community fought tirelessly to get rid of the drones. Gungahlin residents will do the same. I live under a flight path and have multiple drones going past my house each day (today it was at least 11). I feel i have no privacy any more. I cant escape them when I exercise either because they fly over the reserve near me. The drones also seem to scare the birds which worries me. Wing has ruined our suburb as far as I’m concerned.

Viviean Laycock11:32 pm 25 Aug 21

For every drone delivery, someone loses a job. Please think about that.

Excellent point

Finagen_erection1:51 pm 24 Aug 21

Love their stuff. Had a stash rushed to me from my favourite Fyshwick Adult store last week.

Frank Spencer4:07 am 25 Aug 21

Did that make it a UFD?

Guy Earnshaw12:39 pm 24 Aug 21

Such a great idea. Lived out in Royalla when they where trialling the business and while there was some complaints about noise etc… the overall response was positive and it was such a brilliant idea.

Good on Wing and what a good service in lockdown.

Yeah good on Wing, thanks for ruining the peace and quiet of our homes and neighbourhoods so that you can make a profit at our expense.

The reality is each drone delivery requires the drone to travel twice over the many homes of people who do not use the service, and do not want it.

We dont need the drones and their intrusion on our privacy.

I order home delivery online all the time and do online shopping. None if this has a negative impact on my neighbours.

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