Skyports and Flock trial NHS drone deliveries

London insurtech, Flock, and insurer Allianz are supporting Skyports in this week's drone delivery trials for NHS Highland. Flights will be conducted between two hospitals in Scotland, taking off in Oban before flying 10 miles to the Isle of Mull. If successful, it will mean delivery times cut from six hours one way via ferry to just 15 minutes on-demand by drone, and offers a glimpse of the exciting future transformational impact of drones.

Flock CEO, Ed Leon Klinger commented: “A few years ago drone deliveries were no more than science fiction. Today they’re taking place around the world, helping to transport critical equipment like PPE and medication. Skyports are pioneers in the space and it’s very exciting to have helped unlock the critical insurance needed for these flights to take place. We’re delighted to provide support for the trials through our very own COVID-19 fund which was designed for exactly this kind of exceptional operation."

Alex Brown, head of operations at Skyports, added: “Flock never cease to amaze us with their speed, flexibility and ability to go above and beyond to support their customers. The majority of insurance providers out there wouldn’t know where to start with a complex operation like this, but for Flock, it’s their bread and butter. We’re delighted to have an insurance partner that helps us push the envelope of what’s possible whilst keeping safety at the heart of everything they do.”

The trial represents a huge milestone for unmanned aviation in the UK. Under current rules, drones must be flown within visual line of sight of the remote pilot. To undertake these extended flights, the project team have worked closely with the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority.

UAS manufactured by German unmanned aircraft-maker Wingcopter will be used, and the the trial flights will be planned through Thales’ drone operations management platform, SOARIZON.

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