IAG Cargo has tested autonomous drone technology within its warehouse facility in Madrid to carry out freight checks.
The trial comes after the cargo business found it was spending an average of 6,500 hours each year recording the barcodes and location data of freight across its individual warehouses.
The drone, developed by start-up FlytBase, have carried out a total of two trials which involved the units autonomously navigating across multiple racks, detecting and reading AWBs, identifying empty slot locations and returning itself to a charging doc for self-charging.
Carly Morris, head of innovation, IAG Cargo, said: “We are continuously looking for solutions to increase the efficiency and accuracy of our logistical operations, so we are delighted that the trials with FlytBase have been successful so far.
“Watching our autonomous drone take off, navigate our warehouse, collect valuable location and barcode data, and then return itself to an origin point for self-charging is an incredible sight, and shows the huge potential drones have in the aviation and logistics sectors.
“This trial is only one aspect of IAG Cargo’s continuous programme of innovation and investment which changes how logistics works, challenges the status quo and ensures our customers receive the best possible service. We have more exciting new technology tests and trials in 2020 that will help change the way our industry approaches some age-old problems.”
IAG said there will be a continuation of testing of certain elements of the drone operation early next year in order to make improvements on what has already been achieved.