In May of this year the India Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) granted conditional exemption from Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules to the Government of Telangana for its ‘Medicine from the Sky Project’. The project is led by the Government of Telangana, World Economic Forum and Healthnet Global, and is supported by the Indian Government think tank, Niti Aayog. The Government of Telangana has approved eight consortiums out of the 17 who applied to the Expression of Interest.
Blue Dart Express is a part of the ‘Medicine from the Sky’ initiative and has been selected as one of the consortiums to carry out vaccine delivery trials. The BVLOS flights, operated as part of the Blue Dart Med-Express Consortium, will deliver vaccines and emergency medical supplies from a district hospital to the Primary healthcare centre.
The project would include conducting trials over a period of six days with the findings helping the Govt. of Telangana to develop a framework for commercial deliveries by drone to be enabled in Waves 2 & 3 of the project.
The selected consortiums are likely to be further participating for the commercial bid to create delivery network and enable deliveries by drone within the State of Telangana.
Olivier Quero, Altitude Angel, Regional Sales Manager, said: “Medical deliveries will be one of the use cases which will benefit most from the success of these BVLOS demonstrations. At Altitude Angel, we’re committed to enabling organisations, businesses and governments 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.”
Ketan Kulkarni, Blue Dart, CMO & Head, Business Development, added: “We could not have asked for a better UTM partner than Altitude Angel for the trials. Its GuardianUTM Enterprise platform is widely regarded as being the best UTM platform available. To have their team on board will help ensure the trial’s success. At Blue Dart, we always believe in staying ahead of the curve and make use of the true potential of technology and digitisation 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.”
The BVLOS trials will help create framework for future drone deliveries and other major applications using drones across India. They build on the work Altitude Angel has been involved in, having been the lead and ‘umbrella’ UTM for the Lake Kivu Challenge, part of the African Drone Forum, which took place on the shores of Lake Kivu, Rwanda in January 2020.