Skyports has announced that it has started a drone delivery trial for the NHS, ferrying supplies between a hospital on the Scottish mainland and one on the Isle of Mull.
The standard journey takes about an hour and 15 minutes, via land transport and ferry- with the latter shuttling passengers only thrice a day. With the Skyports drone delivery, the journey can be made anytime necessary and will only take 15 minutes.
“As COVID-19 testing rapidly gathers pace in the UK, the proposed delivery service will help to ensure that isolated communities have access to tests, delivered in a fast and efficient way,” Skyports wrote in a statement.
While Skyports is the one implementing the trial, the drones were actually provided by drone tech company Wingcopter, piloted through a drone management system built by aerospace company Thales.
The trial will last for two weeks, and if the trial goes well Skyports plans to roll out the program more broadly in the UK.
The UK has been conducting another drone trial in another part of the country, transporting personal protective equipment via drone from three hospitals in Hampshire, a county in southern England, to a hospital on the Isle of Wight, an island off England’s south coast, and vice versa.
In the future, the drones may soon be used to deliver time-sensitive medical items- even blood and organs.