Car parts flown across town.

A New Zealand-first drone delivery over Auckland has given new meaning to "air mail".

Delivery company Fastway Couriers has teamed up with Sydney-based unmanned aerial vehicles UAV company Flirtey to create the aerial delivery service.

The duo successfully trialled their first drone parcel delivery, transporting auto parts between Penrose and Mt Wellington.

The 1.9km route takes close to 20 minutes by traditional courier, depending on traffic, but the flying postie completed the delivery in less than five minutes.


The delivery drone is built from carbon fibre, aluminium and printed 3D components.

It can complete a delivery without anyone controlling it using GPS and has a range of more than 15km return. Packages can weigh up to 2.5kg. The companies haven't yet worked out how much a delivery would cost.

Flirtey chief executive Matthew Sweeny said customers received a text message notification for their delivery.

The company was also exploring other platforms, such as apps, to notify customers.

"This is a significant moment because it is the first commercial drone delivery over a populated area in New Zealand," Sweeny said.

"As the entire concept and its technology continues to evolve, the sky is the limit."

Fastway Couriers chief executive Scott Jenyns said drone technology was "an exciting prospect for the future of courier delivery".

"Although there's no substitute for courier drivers, drone technology is rapidly progressing and it displays a way of increasing speed of delivery, particularly in congested areas. This opens up a range of possibilities for courier companies, small businesses and online retailers."


Online giant Amazon is also looking into establishing a similar service in the United Kingdom.

New Zealand has become a key testing ground for the drones because of its favourable legislation and a relatively uncrowded airspace.

Other potential uses of the technology include search and rescue, fast food deliveries and aerial surveyance and mapping.