📺 Stream EntrepreneurTV for Free 📺

First Authorized Drone Delivery in Europe Scheduled for Tomorrow German delivery firm DHL will use drones to deliver medical supplies to a small island.

By Laura Entis

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Delivery by drone is taking another step toward reality. Starting tomorrow, delivery firm DHL will begin using unmanned drones called "parcelcopters" to drop off medicine to residents of Juist, a small, thinly populated island off northwestern Germany.

Friday's flight -- which could take up to 30 minutes -- marks the launch of the first ever commercial drone delivery service in Europe, according to DHL. It also marks the start of a 30-day trial to determine whether drop off by drone is an effective alternative to traditional modes of delivery.

For the duration of the trial, DHL will send medication to the island twice a day via drone when other alternatives such as aircraft or ferry services are not available, The New York Times reported.

Related: FAA is Considering Lifting Drone Ban for Hollywood

DHL's pilot program is similar to drone tests being done by Silicon Valley behemoths, most notably Amazon and Google. But while both tech companies predict that their plan to deploy drones for commercial delivery is still years away from fruition -- at least in part because of the stringent regulations imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration -- DHL is intent on showing that it can be done. At least in countries that are not the U.S.

DHL apparently avoided running afoul of regulators by working closely with the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure as well as the air traffic agency to create a restricted flight path, according to the Times.

Related: Here's Why Martha Stewart Bought a Drone

Meanwhile, stateside, the FAA shut down a drone delivery service ferrying beer to ice fishers in Minnesota and banned the Washington Nationals from using a drone to take publicity photos earlier this year.

That's because at present, drones cannot be employed for commercial purposes in the U.S., no matter how seemingly harmless the intention. While the FAA has been working on a list of regulations for almost a decade, it is still months -- possibly years -- away from issuing a final set of rules for the commercial use of small drones.

Related: Grilled Cheese by Parachute May Not Fly With U.S. Regulators

Laura Entis is a reporter for Fortune.com's Venture section.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.


McDonald's Introduces a New Dessert Inspired By 'Grandmacore' Trend

McDonald's will launch the "Grandma McFlurry," a limited-time dessert blending syrup, vanilla ice cream and candy pieces, as a tribute to comforting grandmotherly treats — and a nod to a TikTok trend.

Starting a Business

Clinton Sparks Podcast: The Secrets of Entrepreneurship Told by David Meltzer

This podcast is a fun, entertaining and informative show that will teach you how to succeed and achieve your goals with practical advice and actionable steps given through compelling stories and conversations with Clinton and his guests.

Business Culture

Hybrid Work Is Failing Your Employees — Here's Why (and What You Can Do About It)

Business leaders are trying to choose between in-person and remote work. This leads to hybrid, which just isn't effective. Here's why.

Growing a Business

How to Properly Manage the Cash Flow of Your Startup

Ever think financial planning and analysis is just for big businesses? Think again! Startups thrive on solid financial planning, which is key to staying ahead of your competitors.


Want to Be More Productive? Here's How Google Executives Structure Their Schedules

These five tactics from inside Google will help you focus and protect your time.


The Role and Responsibilities of a Franchisee, Defined

The Yin to the Franchisor's Yang, franchisees are essential to the functionality of the business model.