Orkney has become the first location in the UK to have mail delivered by drone.

The Orkney I-Port operation has been launched by Royal Mail and drone firm Skyports to distribute letters and parcels between the islands.

In partnership with the council’s harbour authority and Loganair, mail will be transported from Royal Mail’s Kirkwall delivery office to Stromness.

From there, drones will carry items to Graemsay and Hoy where postal staff will complete their delivery routes.

While the service will initially operate for three months, it could be continued on a permanent basis under existing regulatory frameworks due to Orkney’s unique landscape and the proximity of the islands to one another.

The drone service is expected to significantly improve service levels and delivery times to Graemsay and Hoy, as weather and geography can cause disruption to delivery services.

The use of electric drones for inter-island delivery will also bring significant safety improvements by ensuring postal workers can deliver between ports without risk.

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