Draganfly, a longstanding player in the drone industry that has been on our radar for its “pandemic drone” and stadium disinfection services, is ready to add a new solution to its COVID-19 relief portfolio: drone delivery of the novel coronavirus vaccines.
Starting next month, Canada-based Draganfly will start delivering COVID-19 vaccines to the rural and remote areas of Texas using drones. The service is being made possible through a partnership with Coldchain Delivery Systems, a medical and vaccine supply chain management company to the US government.
Overall, a five-phase rollout has been planned for the comprehensive development, deployment, and operation of a medical drone delivery service in the United States.
Coldchain has earmarked a budget of $750,000 for the first two phases, out of which $625,000 will be spent on procuring Draganfly’s drone equipment as well as autopilot and flight management services. The drone manufacturer has been developing a robust vaccine delivery payload for this agreement since December 2020. The payload is a sustainable thermal management system capable of carrying a minimum of 300 multidoses or 100 single doses.
Beta test routes for COVID-19 vaccine drone delivery
The initial phase of the medical drone delivery partnership between Draganfly and Coldchain Delivery Systems is expected to last no longer than 10 months. It would focus chiefly on collaborating with various regulatory bodies, such as the Federal Aviation Administration. The companies expect to obtain licenses and approvals for non-commercial beta test delivery routes in rural Texas in this phase.
Wayne Williams, founder and executive director of Coldchain Delivery Systems, says:
Draganfly’s commitment to enabling access to essential medical supplies by building an advanced payload system to accommodate Coldchain’s requirements is extremely exciting. Draganfly will help us solve the problem which is the timely and precise distribution of the vaccine in hard-to-reach areas.
Commenting that Draganfly has been committed to providing solutions to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cameron Chell, CEO of Draganfly, adds:
We are excited to develop a payload system that will leverage our extensive patent portfolio as well as a secured auto-pilot and flight management system. Coldchain Delivery Systems is a leader in healthcare supply chain management and we are looking forward to helping deliver via UAV medical supplies to remote areas.
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