The Telangana government will start delivering medicines and Covid-19 vaccines with the help of drones on a trail basis in Vikarabad district from September 9 till October 17.
Called, ‘Medicine From The Sky’, the latest initiative is a joint project through a consortium that has been formed by Telangana government with Indian drone delivery start-up firm Skye Air Mobility. The latter has joined hands with courier service BlueDart Express to provide drone-based delivery and drone flights to conduct these trials.
With this new project, Telangana will become the first state to start trials of ‘Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS)’ drone flights for the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines, said a government statement on Wednesday. Skye Air Mobility focuses on an end-to-end ecosystem for drone-based logistic transportation.
“While the nation is focusing on achieving 100% vaccination, the current situation calls for a deeper supply of vaccines, especially in the remote areas. Delivery of vaccination through drones would be a stepping stone to achieve this goal,” said Balfour Manuel, managing director, BlueDart, according to the release.
The project will have two certified remote pilots who have been specifically trained for the BVLOS trials during the project. The project’s first two days of the trials will involve drones flying between 500 to 700 metres from the base, wherein they can be seen with the naked eye.
From September 11 onwards, the BVLOS drone flights will take place for about 9 to 10 kilometres of distances. These flights will be with consignments of vaccine, medical samples and other healthcare items, the release stated.
Swapnik Jakkampundi, co-founder, Skye Air Mobility, said, “The key elements that were deterrents in the sector for a long period are now in favour of this development. 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.”