Skyportz Medical Delivery Trials in the UK

  • August 18, 2023

Skyports Drone Services has successfully completed a drone delivery trial in partnership with EMED Group, one of the UK’s largest medical transport companies.  During the four-weeks “proof-of-concept project” the two companies have transported more than 400 pathology specimens between two medical facilities operated by the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (Esneft), an existing customer of EMED Group. 

According to Skyportz the Swoop Aero Kookaburra III 3 kg-payload fixed-wing drone used in the trial is a “tried and tested platform” with tens of thousands of kilometers already flown in medical delivery missions. “We’re at a really important stage in the scaling of medical drone logistics,” a statement says by Skyports Drone Services Director Alex Brown “Projects such as this one with EMED are helping pave the way for permanent operations by demonstrating just how safe, beneficial and effective drone services are–and the ease with which they can be implemented.”

The initiative with EMED Group is the latest drone delivery trial done by Skyports, which is focused on middle-mile deliveries between businesses together with maritime and off-shore deliveries. For the growing demand from UK-based customers Skyports gives the example with the UK postal delivery company Royal Mail which recently has provided the Orkney Islands in Scotland with a mail distribution service using the Speedbird Aero DLV-2 multicopter drone. Those trials, which are set to run from June through August, follow drone trials elsewhere in Scotland, including medical equipment supplies in Dundee and Angus in the Western Isles. 

Skyports operates a fleet of around 50 drones ranging from small platforms like the Swoop Aero Kookaburra III and Speedbird Aero DLV-2–capable of carrying up to 3 kg and 6 kg payloads, respectively, to the Pyka Pelican heavy-lift sTOL uncrewed aircraft with a payload of up to 200 kg. “We’re a drone airline, essentially, with probably six different types of drones, mostly being used for deliveries or inspections,” Brown adds. “We’ve got both multirotor and fixed-wing aircraft with a range of sizes and capabilities. It’s a really varied bunch, and the reason we do that is there’s no one drone to rule them all. You need a wide fleet in the same way that DHL has vans and buses and trucks and boats and that sort of thing.”

Credit to: Skyportz