May 1, 2021 3:33:29 am
The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation has given its go-ahead for a pilot project of the Telangana government which aims to deliver medical supplies using drones.
According to the clearance, drones can be operated within the visual line of sight (VLOS) range for a period of one year.
“This is the first step. We are also seeking permission to operate drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) because we want to deliver medical supplies at longer distances. The pilot project will take place in Vikarabad district, for which we have received clearances from Airport Authority of India. Eight drone companies will participate in a 22-day test project,” said L Rama Devi, Director of Emerging Technologies, Telangana IT Department.
Principal Secretary, Information Technology, Jayesh Ranjan however said that in the initial stages, drones will not be used to deliver Covid-19 vaccines.
In March 2020, the Telangana government had signed a collaboration agreement for the ‘Medicine from the Sky’ project with the World Economic Forum and Apollo Hospital’s HealthNet Global, to conduct a feasibility study to examine how drones can be used to improve medical supply chains. The project includes a comprehensive study of drone-based deliveries for blood, vaccines, diagnostic specimens, and lifesaving equipment. The project framework was prepared by WEF and Group Healthnet Global Limited, and was later adopted by the Telangana government.
The state had then submitted a proposal to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and sought permission for BVLOS operations of drones for deliveries.
The state government had called for proposals from drone service providers to demonstrate safe, accurate, and reliable pickup and delivery of medical supplies.
The government has also signed a MoU with leading drone manufacturer DJI for pilot training.
At the Wings India-2020 event in March, the government had also held a demonstration of the deliveries for DGCA and WEF officials.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.