AGS Airports, which owns and manages Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports, is
to guide a consortium that can develop and trial what would be the UK’s first nationwide distribution community to make use of drones to move important medicines, blood, organs and different medical provides all through Scotland.
The AGS led consortium, which brings collectively 14 organisations together with the College of Strathclyde, and main air visitors management supplier NATS, efficiently secured £1.5 million from the UK Industrial Technique Future Flight Problem Fund to exhibit how
autonomous drone expertise can improve entry to important medical provides,
notably in rural components of Scotland.
The CAELUS (Care & Fairness – Healthcare Logistics UAS Scotland) challenge began on 1
December and can contain reside drone flight trials. Along with creating the bottom
infrastructure wanted to recharge the drones and the methods to regulate them whereas flying, a key facet of the challenge will likely be designing pathways to make sure the drones can safely share airspace with civil aviation. The challenge may even guarantee vital elements equivalent to public security, safety and noise ranges are thought-about.
A digital blueprint of the drone supply community will then be created with the potential to
join hospitals, pathology laboratories, distribution centres and GP surgical procedures throughout
Scotland. The challenge is scheduled to run till Spring 2022. Derek Provan, chief govt of AGS Airports, mentioned: “This challenge has the potential to fully revolutionise the best way through which healthcare companies are delivered in Scotland. Not
solely does drone expertise have the flexibility to speed-up the supply of vital medical
provides, it might scale back ready occasions for take a look at outcomes and, extra importantly, assist present fairness of care between city and distant rural communities.
“The organisations inside this consortium are a number of the most expert and skilled in drone expertise. The funding from UK Industrial Technique will permit us to work collectively to beat a number of the challenges related to scaling drone operations to ship a transport community that’s technically, socially and financially viable.
“Though our focus is on healthcare, the CAELUS challenge might pave the best way for the deployment of drone-enabled logistics in different sectors and has the potential to vary the best way airspace is utilized by manned and unmanned autos. It additionally has clear environmental advantages as it is going to play a key function in lowering the carbon emissions generated by current, road-based distribution networks inside Scotland.”
NHS Ayrshire & Arran and the NHS West of Scotland Innovation Hub, which helps well being and social care innovation throughout the West of Scotland, will work alongside the AGS led consortium on the challenge
Karen Bell, Head of Analysis & Improvement – Innovation Lead for NHS Ayrshire & Arran
mentioned: “NHS Ayrshire & Arran are excited to be main on the supply of this challenge on
behalf of the West of Scotland Innovation Hub.
“This is a chance to work with aviation colleagues to discover the progressive use of
drone expertise to handle a number of the potential challenges dealing with each day supply of NHS
companies, not solely inside NHS Ayrshire & Arran however throughout the West of Scotland.”
The Scottish Authorities’s Financial system Secretary Fiona Hyslop mentioned: “This progressive challenge will assist place Scotland on the forefront of drone applied sciences to ship important healthcare provides to individuals extra rapidly, particularly these residing distant places. It additionally demonstrates, as soon as once more, that when companies, universities and public sector work collectively they’ll ship for Scotland and outperform the competitors, attracting welcome funding at this difficult time.”
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of the College of Strathclyde,
mentioned: “Strathclyde is a founding member of the UK Aviation Analysis Consortium and we
are delighted to play a central function on this thrilling challenge, making use of our experience from throughout a number of disciplines. The challenge aligns with our well being applied sciences analysis cluster and our lengthy observe report of working with trade and the general public sector. We sit up for demonstrating the potential worth of drone supply of medical provides for the general public, NHS, the economic system, social equality and for the aviation manufacturing trade in Scotland.”
Gary Cutts, Future Flight Problem Director, added: “At this very difficult time for the
worldwide aviation trade, it’s a nice testomony to the UK’s drive and ambition that we now have had such a powerful response to the primary funded Future Flight competitors. The breadth, high quality and creativity of the bids have been distinctive and the financial and social advantages supplied are very important. The initiatives we are actually launching will place the UK strongly to drive the third revolution in aviation.”
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