Denmark’s Health Drones project has completed its first official BVLOS flight with a health care drone between Svendborg and Ærø. The drone flew without cargo, but in the future it will fly blood samples and medicine between Svendborg Hospital and the Hospital Unit in Ærøskøbing.
The Health Drones project was started three years ago and aims to integrate drones into the Danish healthcare system. Behind the project is a partnership consisting of Odense University Hospital, Falck, Holo, Unifly, Scandinavian Avionics and the University of Southern Denmark. Naviair’s role in the project is to ensure an integration between unmanned and manned traffic, so that it is possible to fly safely with the drones without shutting down the airspace.
After several years of thorough experiments and tests with health drones in the UAS Denmark Test Center at HCA Airport, at OUH and for flights internally on Ærø, the drones are now ready to test flights in air corridors between Ærø and Svendborg and Svendborg and Odense.
When the health drones are ready, they will improve the logistics in the healthcare sector and thus mean faster and better treatment for the patients. The drones will make it possible to do more examinations at the doctor’s or at home that previously required visits to the hospital.
“It is epoch-making that we integrate a drone flight with manned air traffic, which is equipped with ADS-B. When a drone flight is in progress, Naviair’s air traffic controllers in the control center can follow and act, e.g. if a rescue helicopter needs the airspace. It is one of the first and only trials in Europe that has come this far, and it would not have happened without a close and good collaboration with Naviair’s technical and operational departments ” , says Steen Myhre Taschner Erichsen, head of UTM at Naviair.
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