Matternet flies into Germany

Swiss drone logistics company Matternet will soon be flying its delivery drones in the heart of Berlin in Germany.

Th small parcel drone developer has announced that it has been granted the necessary paper work from the German federal aviation office, the Luftfarht-Bundesmt, to operate the Matternet M2 drone delivery platform beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) as they deliver supplies for hospital laboratory Labor Berlin in Berlin.

This will be Berlin’s first ever BVLOS drone delivery network.

Labor Berlin provides diagnostics for 30 hospitals with more than 24,000 beds, including Charité, the largest university hospital in Europe; and Vivantes, the largest municipal hospital group in Berlin. The laboratory also handles more than six million lab samples per year from satellite laboratories across Berlin in its central lab.

Plenty of destination for the Matternet 2 to fly to: The drone delivery will connect Labor Berlin’s central lab to its affiliated hospitals for fast delivery of critical samples in the densely populated city.

Set to start early next year, the network will serve millions of patients a year when operating and full capacity.

“Healthcare systems need a fast, reliable and cost-effective solution to transport lab samples and pharmacy items to ensure patients receive best-in-class care,” said Andreas Raptopoulos, Founder and CEO of Matternet.

“We are extremely excited to partner with Labor Berlin, Europe’s largest hospital laboratory, to create the first city-wide healthcare network in the capital of Germany and bring the benefits of drone delivery to the citizens of Berlin.”

The drone delivery network will target emergency diagnostics and will increase operational efficiency as well as cut down on carbon emissions from the nearly 250,000 miles per day that cars travel within the city.

“Collaborating with Matternet enables us to enhance access to vital healthcare options through unmanned drone delivery, benefiting our patients and hospital network,” said Nina Beikert, Labor Berlin CEO.

“These operations align with our dedication to innovation and sustainability as drone delivery not only accelerates emergency testing, but also enhances supply chain efficiencies while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Matternet is a holder of US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) Type Certification and Production Certification, as well as BVLOS operational approvals from the FAA and the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA), in addition to the German LBA approval now.

The drone maker started delivering lab samples via drone in Switzerland in 2017 before expanding into the US two years later. It has transported tens of thousands of specimens for Ospedale Regionale di Lugano, University Zürich Hospital and Stadtspital Zürich in Switzerland and – through its partnership with UPS – Wakemed Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health in the US.

 “After years of preparation and pioneering work, we are excited to execute our vision for a fully operational network of drones delivering samples throughout our hospital service – to further improve patient care,” said Klaus Tenning, Head of Studies and Collaborations and Project Leader for Labor Berlin.

Matternet started working with labor Berlin in 2020, with the initial phase of their program seeing the determination of the best ways to integrate drone delivery into the laboratory group’s existing workflow.

The partners also had plans to invite government and public sector representatives to observe drone flights, and engage other airspace users such as Helicopter Emergency Rescue Services, Berlin police and Berlin’s airports.

Matternet would also work closely with the Air Navigation Service Provider in Germany and UTM providers to integrate the drones safely into Berlin’s airspace.

All of which must have worked a treated, because her we are today.


Leave a Comment


Welcome! Login in to your account

Remember me Lost your password?

Lost Password