India kicks off ‘Medicine from the Sky’ BVLOS drone delivery trials

medicine from the sky

The state of Telangana in India is beginning trial runs for the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, medicines, and other healthcare items using drones from today. For this “Medicine from the Sky” project, logistics company Blue Dart has teamed up with drone delivery startup Skye Air Mobility and UK-based Unified Traffic Management (UTM) technology platform Altitude Angel.

India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has granted the Government of Telangana a conditional exemption from drone regulations for its “Medicine from the Sky” project, which is being supported by World Economic Forum, Healthnet Global, and Indian think tank Niti Aayog. Eight consortiums have been approved to carry out BVLOS drone delivery trials.

As part of this project, the Blue Dart Med-Express consortium will deliver vaccines and emergency medical supplies from a district hospital to a primary healthcare center over a period of six days. The findings from these trials will help the government to develop a framework for commercial deliveries by drones.

Related: As cases surge, UPS gets temperature-monitoring drones to deliver COVID-19 vaccine

As Ketan Kulkarni, Blue Dart, CMO & head, business development, explains:

At Blue Dart, we always believe in staying ahead of the curve and make use of the true potential of technology and digitization to provide new-age express logistics solutions to all our customers. As the world battles the health crisis, delivery of medicines and vaccines by drones is the need of the hour and with Altitude Angel as our UTM partner, we have the best team supporting our mission.

Stressing that medical deliveries will be one of the use cases that will benefit most from the success of these BVLOS demonstrations, Olivier Quero, Altitude Angel’s regional sales manager, adds:

We’re committed to enabling organizations, businesses and governments to create the infrastructure which will make highly automated BVLOS drone operations a day-to-day reality. We’re very much looking forward to playing a key role in the Blue Dart Express-led consortium.

Read more: India eases drone rules with vision to become ‘global drone hub’ by 2030

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