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Flying food: Domino's drone partnership opens new opportunities in food delivery sector

By Mitchell Hageman
Fri 28 Jan 2022

Fancy getting your pizza delivered by drone? That might soon become a reality with Domino's signing a new deal with drone company SkyDrop.

The deal will see Domino's franchises in NZ trial SkyDrops drone solutions, starting in 2022 with staged trials focusing on streamlining pizza home delivery.

The trial will be operated by SkyDrop or its designee using the company's drone and safety technology to deliver Domino's pizzas to customers. 

In 2016, SkyDrop and Domino's put the wheels in motion with a test trial at its Whangaparaoa store in Auckland, successfully delivering pizza to a customer by drone. These demonstrations were conducted under Civil Aviation Rules Part 101, and the test was attended by both the CAA and Ministry of Transport.

As a first of its kind achievement, the original drone was accepted into the Aviation collection at the Auckland Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).

Over the following years, SkyDrop advanced its technology, increasing the payload of the SkyDrop drone up to 3.5kg and increasing the precision delivery altitude of the drone up to 60 meters.

SkyDrop also incorporated a parachute system for safety, expanding production of its aircraft system in the US in conjunction with the FAA certification process, and receiving Part 102 Unmanned Aircraft Operator Certificate and Operations Specifications from the CAA in New Zealand.

SkyDrop founder and CEO Matthew Sweeny says he is excited that the deal will lead to further opportunities for drone technologies in the service sector.

"We are excited to work with local stakeholders in New Zealand, who have the opportunity to be at the forefront of the drone delivery industry globally. We look forward to expanding our leadership in drone delivery focused on the trillion dollar store-to-door food delivery market," he says.

Domino's Group CEO and managing director Don Meij is also proud the company is allowing new opportunities for its customers to receive their food via innovative technology.

"Domino's is excited to partner with SkyDrop for the second stage of our commercial drone delivery trial in New Zealand. We invested in this partnership, and technology, because we believe drone delivery will be an essential component of our pizza deliveries in the future. 
"This innovation means customers can experience cutting-edge technology and the convenience of having the freshest, hottest pizza delivered by drone from their local Domino's store to their door."

SKyDrop is also currently expanding operations in both the USA and NZ, leading to further opportunities for drone technology in the future.

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