Hyderabad: BlueDart Express along with drone delivery startup Skye Air will flag off the first drone flight (visual line of sight) for Telangana Government’s ambitious ‘Medicine from the Sky’ project tomorrow.
The project’s first two days of the trials will focus on the visual line of sight (VLOS), which involves drones flying between 500 and 700 meters from the base and they can be seen with the naked eye. From 11th September onwards, BVLOS drone flights will take place for 9 -10 kilometre distance. These flights will be with consignments of vaccine, medical samples and other healthcare items.
Skye Air Mobility, which is a part of the consortium for Government of Telangana’s “Medicine from the sky” project, along with BlueDart Express, will carry out drone trials for delivery of medicines and vaccines in Vikarabad, Hyderabad from 9th September till 17th October. Telangana will become the first State to start trials of Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone flights for delivery of Covid-19 vaccines.
Speaking on the trials, Balfour Manuel, MD, Blue Dart said, “Our battle against Covid-19 continues to unfold with new challenges that need solutions in real-time. The pandemic has taught each one of us the importance of logistics and the need for a tech-led supply chain infrastructure. As an organisation, Blue Dart has always immersed itself with the technology of the future.”
“While the nation is focusing on achieving 100 per cent vaccination, the current situation calls for a much deeper penetration of vaccines, especially in the remote areas. Delivery of vaccination through drones would be a stepping stone to achieve this goal,” Manuel added.
Swapnik Jakkampundi, co-founder, Skye Air Mobility said, “The environment is optimistic, people have the right mind set, favourable government policy and aerial technological advancements, drone delivery will be a game changer very soon. This move is in sync with our endeavours at transformational change in rural and remote areas by helping make instant access to vital medical supplies.”
Skye Air is a licensed company who is compliant with aviation safety norms and well aware of risk mitigation measures in case of emergencies. As per the Expression on Interest, the company will have two certified remote pilots who have been specifically trained for the BVLOS trials during the project. Telangana government is exploring the scope of delivery of medical and healthcare provisions through drones across the State.
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