Skyports Drone Services aces UAV medical delivery trials in Japan

The UK-based UAV delivery specialist Skyports Drone Services has extended its activities in Japan through a successfully completed proof-of-concept trial transporting medical supplies between hospitals and clinics in Kaga City.

Skyports Drone Services says the proof-of-concept (PoC) project delivered medical payloads of up to 3 kilos between Kaga Medical Center and two clinics in the region. It was carried out in cooperation with the Kanematsu Corporation, which has been investing in UAV and advanced air mobility (AAM) development in Japan, and has an equity stake in Skyports.

In addition to once again demonstrating the ability of drones to deliver medical payloads in a safe and effective manner,  Skyports’ trial run in Japan sliced 50% off transport time compared to current ground options. The company said it also provided valuable insights toward developing criteria for assessing and selecting take-off and landing sites, as well as determining optimum flight paths compatible with both higher-altitude aircraft and people and infrastructure below.

ReadSkyports launches employee recruitment drive for drone delivery and service operations

Also important to eventual aerial operation in the country, the PoC project measured the effects of environmental factors complicating drone flights, including temperature variations of between 2°C and 9°C, rain, snow, and strong winds. 

Previously approved by the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau, Skyports Drone Services delivery testing also provided an opportunity to study the feasibility of operating beyond visual line of sight flights in the country to provide faster, more efficient, yet safe aerial transportation of medical supplies and other goods to hard-to-reach destinations.

“We are thrilled to have successfully completed the PoC with the tremendous support of the Kaga City Council and our investor and board member, Kanematsu Corporation,” said Skyports’ Japan country manager, Atsushi Okada. “Japan has a diverse landscape that encompasses mountainous terrain and thousands of islands and water bodies, making it a prime location to benefit from drone technology. We are confident that our drone delivery operations have proven their impact in addressing logistical challenges and elevating safety standards. With each successful PoC, we are building on our repertoire of capabilities and proven use-cases. This milestone is a significant step forward that will provide a strong roadmap for the wider-scale adoption of drone technology in Japan.”

Read: Skyports expands to South Korea via drone delivery joint venture

The PoC delivery program extended Skyports Drone Service’s activity in Japan, where it opened a full-time office last October. Among that is planning work with Kanematsu Corporation on the eventual launch of AAM services in the country, and a separate project to prepare for next-generation aircraft operations with plane maker Eve Mobility.

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