By Helicopters Staff
Drone systems developer Draganfly Inc., headquartered in Saskatoon, SK, announced it has completed more 300 daytime drone delivery test flights with EMS personnel in Texas, as it prepares to begin nighttime tests.
Draganfly is currently in Phase 1 of its agreement with Coldchain Technology Services, LLC, which sees the company working with emergency crews on the development and training of how to properly pilot drones and handle deliveries in emergency, medical and disaster response situations.
Draganfly explains the intake includes professional drone operators and former US Air Force (USAF) personnel who have operational and piloting experience on multiple drone systems, including the MQ-9 Reaper RPA.
Pilots and personnel are being taken through various scenarios while learning the drone techniques required to meet rigorous standards. Under this contract, trained operators will support first responders by providing critical equipment, medical supplies and data during active emergency and disaster relief operations.
According to Beroe Inc., the EMS market for drone services is estimated to grow by 25 per cent between 2019 and 2025. The use of drones to deliver supplies, medicines and vaccines is seen as a key step forward in supply chain innovation by medical supply, equipment and pharmaceutical companies.
One hundred of Draganfly’s daytime test flights were completed with its temperature managed payload box, which can transport up to 15 pounds of medical supplies including vaccines and testing kits. The Draganfly payload box is top mounted.
Initial night flight training and testing is now being scheduled to commence. The data collected from Draganfly’s daytime and night flight tests will be submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for approval to enter Phase 2 of its agreement with Coldchain Delivery Systems. Feedback from EMS personnel is also being used to improve Draganfly’s training module and develop industry standards.
“ Draganfly has a long and proud history of supporting EMS services globally, particularly with search and rescue,” said Cameron Chell, CEO of Draganfly. “A Draganflyer drone was credited as the first drone to save a human life. That drone now resides in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Advances in our engineering, logistics and Artificial Intelligence capabilities are positioning us to be able to actively support operations during live deployments.”