Drone Delivery Canada’s DroneCare route gets BVLOS greenlight

Canadian cargo drone maker Drone Delivery Canada’s new year wish has come true, after it was granted the greenlight to operate beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights on a new route in Canada.

To be operated in tandem with healthcare organisation Halton Healthcare, the DroneCare route is a two-way transportation link from Milton District Hospital to Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital.

The bidirectional route will facilitate the exchange of medical supplies and samples between the two hospitals to improve the efficiency of overall healthcare operations.

And now the project is set to truly go bang after Transport Canada granted its seal of approval: DDC yesterday announced it received approval for BVLOS flights along the route, which will cover flights between the two hospitals for an initial six-month period.

And for Steve Magirias, the CEO of DDC, this is a significant milestone in the development for the company’s drone delivery capabilities in the healthcare market segment.

“DDC continues to push the boundaries of drone delivery and this approval is a testament to our efforts to ensure we deploy a safe and efficient drone logistics system,” said Magirias.

“This also continues our work in the healthcare vertical which is an important market for DDC. With BVLOS flights and dangerous goods transportation authorization, we will continue to transform the way healthcare supplies are transported, ensuring faster delivery times and enhancing overall patient care.”

Signed off in September last year, the route will be dedicated for the Canary model of delivery drones; marking the first official commercial route for the Canary remotely piloted aircraft (RPA).

The Canary will carry a variety of critical medical supplies between the two hospitals, which include blood and serum chemistry tests, blood bank materials, urine cultures, small cytology containers with formalin and blood culture bottles.

“We are proud to partner once again with Halton Healthcare to continue to make inroads in the healthcare segment and demonstrate the benefits of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) and their ability to benefit the healthcare market overall with positive outcomes for patient care.”

To further optimise efficiency, DDC will make use of the existing heliport at Milton District Hospital, by reconfiguring DDC’s DroneSpot technology and infrastructure to work with the heliport. Recognised in many parts of the world, DroneSpot utilises a combination of proprietary software and cutting-edge hardware to ensure safe and efficient operations

This approval also marks one of the first approvals in Canada for beyond visual line-of-sight operations in an aerodrome environment. This is a further testament to DDC’s commitment to the highest standards of operational safety.

“The potential for using drones to transport medical supplies in healthcare is profound,” said Hilary Rodrigues, Senior Vice President Corporate Services, Performance & Chief Financial Officer, Halton Healthcare at the announcement of the new route back in September.

“This innovative project explores ways to be more responsive to the care needs of our patients, families and communities. With this project, we are embracing the future of healthcare services, one drone delivery at a time.”

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