DJI’s Historic Drone Delivery at Mt. Everest

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Renowned drone company DJI partnered with Nepali firm Airlift and conducted DJI’s historic drone delivery at Mt. Everest. This groundbreaking test took place in April 2024. This showcases the potential of drones to safely deliver supplies for mountaineers on Everest.

Utilizing DJI’s Flycart 30, which boasts a maximum carrying capacity of 15 kilograms, the test demonstrated the drone’s capability to handle substantial loads under challenging high-altitude conditions. The Flycart 30 successfully transported three oxygen bottles and an additional 1.5 kg of supplies from Everest Base Camp (5300 m) to Camp 1 (6000 m).

Moreover, on its return journey, the drone brought back 15 kg of garbage from Camp 1, highlighting its dual functionality in supply delivery and waste management.

This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all team members involved. It paves the way for more advanced applications of drone technology, promising greater safety and convenience for Everest climbers in the future.

More About DJI’s Historic Drone Delivery at Mt. Everest

Nepal has tough regulations for drone usage, governed by the Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Flight Act of 2019. Drones weighing more than 25 kg fall into the “D” category, which is considered high-risk and subject to strict regulation. According to the Act, drone flights must be conducted within the operator’s line of sight, have a maximum endurance of 15 minutes, and maintain a horizontal distance within 300 meters. Additionally, the maximum flight altitude is restricted to 200 feet above ground level. Flying drones within 5 kilometers of international borders is prohibited, and special permissions are required for flights in national parks and other sensitive areas.

DJI's historic drone delivery at Mt. Everest

Recently, the DJI Flycart 30 underwent test flights, meeting several criteria that necessitate regulation or special permits. The local municipality received approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs for these test flights. When asked, the Department of Tourism clarified that they do not handle drone regulation.

This drone trial comes shortly after a government panel recommended using helicopters between Camp 2 and the base camp for expeditions. Initially, the local municipality had issued a Base Camp Management Procedure for 2024, banning helicopters carrying goods beyond Syangboche. However, they reversed this decision within a month as the municipality itself participated in allowing helicopters to supply up to Camp II. Now, the municipality is collaborating with DJI to test a transport drone above the base camp.

Objectives and Goals of DJI’s historic drone delivery at Mt. Everest

Drone technology is being advanced, high-altitude logistics are being reshaped, and the scientific and mountaineering communities are being supported by DJI’s ambitious effort to test drone delivery on Mount Everest.

  • Exploring the feasibility of using drones to deliver supplies to climbers and researchers in remote and inaccessible areas of Mount Everest.
  • Providing a rapid delivery system for medical supplies and emergency equipment, which could be crucial for rescue operations and aiding injured climbers.
  • Gathering valuable data on drone performance and environmental conditions, which can be used to refine and improve drone technology for future missions.
  • Providing support to climbers by delivering food, water, equipment, and other necessities.
  • Assisting researchers with the transport of scientific instruments and samples.