Sunday, June 13, 2021

India’s first medical drone delivery trials from June 18

Bengaluru: India’s first official beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) medical drone delivery experiment is scheduled to begin this week in Gauribidanur, some 80km from Bengaluru.

While the consortium of firms led by Bengaluru’s Throttle Aerospace Systems (TAS) had got Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) approval for object delivery experiments as early as March 2020, the pandemic had led to delays in some other permissions from agencies.

Having now secured all clearances, the firm will carry out the first set of trials for 30-45 days, beginning June 18. Noted cardiac surgeon Dr Devi Shetty has backed the trials and Narayana Health will be partnering with the consortium, providing medicines that will be used for transport during the trials.

Nagendran Kandasamy, CEO, TAS, told STOI: “Two other consortia also have permission for BVLOS experiments, but ours is the first legal/official medical drone delivery experiment. We have come a long way since 2016 and are at a pivotal moment. After a long wait, we now have an official go-ahead from the BVLOS Experiment Monitoring Committee (BEMC) and we look forward to leveraging commercial drone delivery in India soon.”

Aside from TAS, the consortium has Involi-Swiss, which specialises in air traffic awareness systems for professional drone applications, which is providing unmanned traffic management (UTM) systems, and Honeywell Aerospace as a safety expert.

The consortium will use two variants of its drone — MedCOPTER and TAS’ on-demand delivery software called RANDINT — during the experiment.

13/06/21 Chethan Kumar/Times of India

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