Drone delivery to remote areas heats up during COVID-19

09 June 2020
Drone Delivery Canada's Sparrow drone will be used to send medical and other goods to remote areas of Canada. Source: Drone Delivery Canada

A pair of international drone delivery projects has emerged to help get medical supplies and other goods to remote areas struggling with limited options during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) has entered into a commercial agreement with the David McAntony Gibson Foundation to deploy drones to provide service to Beausoleil First Nation (BFN) community in Ontario, a remote area of the country with a small population.

Under the agreement, DDC will fly two-way delivery flight routes to the BFN mainland and to the BFN Christian Island using its Sparrow drone and its DroneSpot takeoff and landing zones, as well as additional drone flight infrastructure.

The drone flights will be remotely monitored by DDC from its commercial operations center located in Vaughan, Ontario, with services expected to begin in the third quarter of this year.

DDC said BFN will use the Sparrow drones to limit person-to-person contact on its island ferry service by transporting COVID-19 related cargo such as personal protection equipment (PPE), hygiene kits, test kits, test swabs and more.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s Pablo Air has started a project using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to deliver daily goods from Incheon to nearby remote islands.

Pablo Air was selected for the city of Incheon’s logistics robot promotion program and its drone delivery platform using vertical takeoff and landing drones based on drone swarm technology.

The company is developing its drone platform to operate 100 logistics drones at one time and has tested long-range drone operation up to 35 miles. Next year, Pablo Air plans to make a 24 mile to 31 mile test flight from Incheon’s port to Jawoldo and Ijakdo islands in Korea.

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