Australian medical drone delivery company Swoop Aero has won the 2021 AAUS Humanitarian Achievement award for its lifesaving work delivering medicines and medical equipment to hard-to-reach areas across Africa.

The award recognizes organizations that demonstrate the role drones can play in improving the world while addressing global developmental challenges.

Australian Association for Unmanned Systems or AAUS is Australia’s largest advocacy group for drones, promoting them in every industry. The association also holds multiple events a year, showing off the amazing work companies are doing and exploring new use cases.

The award is for its work over in Africa, specifically Malawi, DR Congo, and Mozambique. Swoop Aero worked with remote villages to deliver blood samples to hospitals, helping fight against measles, tuberculosis, and HIV, among other tasks.

Eric Peck, CEO and cofounder of Swoop Aero, shared:

“We are proud to accept the Award which recognizes Swoop Aero’s achievements in the realm of impact-driven activities in low and middle-income countries. To date, we have improved the accessibility and availability of essential health supplies for over 1 million people across the world from Vanuatu to Malawi, DR Congo, and Mozambique. As we continue to scale-up our impact, we remain on track of reaching 100 million people with sustainable drone logistics by 2025. Our platform has been trusted by some of the largest players in global health, including UNICEF, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, USAID, and UKAID.”

Recently, the company has started COVID-19 deliveries in Scotland, working with Skyports, which is in charge of flying the drones and getting the tests and vaccines delivered. The company also recently announced a partnership in its home country, Australia, testing pharmacy deliveries from TerryWhite Chemmart in Queensland.

Swoop Aero’s drones can complete roundtrips of around 260 km (162 miles) and carry up to 10 test kits or 50 vials of blood. The drones have a wingspan of 2.4 m (nearly 8 feet) and are required to fly below 122 m (about 400 feet) to ensure they don’t collide with crewed aircraft. The flights cost around AUD $10 to $15 (USD $6.45 to $9.67), which is significantly cheaper than crewed transport over such a large distance.

Check out the rest of our coverage on Swoop Aero and the amazing work it is doing.

Photo: Swoop Aero

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