Italy’s Lazio region works with regulator to develop drone transport infrastructure

Italy’s Lazio region plans to transport medical supplies by drone. The region’s president Nicola Zingaretti has signed a memorandum of understanding with the president of ENAC, Pierluigi Di Palma to work together over the next three years to study the regulatory environment, both aeronautical and urban, operational and technical, and the analysis of usable routes and suitable infrastructures to carry out air mobility services in the Lazio region. Thanks to the collaboration with ENAC, solutions will be identified to allow drones to deliver drugs, plasma, organs and medical devices and biomedical samples in case of need. The initiative, which will start in 2023, is part of a larger Advanced Air Mobility project which in the future aims to also transport people and goods.

On the occasion of the signing of the protocol, in collaboration with Leonardo and Aeroporti di Roma, an electrically-powered drone simulated urgent transport of biomedical material from the airport to the city center, as part of an experimental sandbox.  Leonardo is engaged in experiments in the field of advanced air mobility and thanks to the Fiumicino sandbox, one of the first in Europe to be located near a large international airport, Leonardo will now be able, in collaboration with Aeroporti di Roma and in coordination with ENAC and ENAV, to test new operational concepts and accelerate the technological, regulatory and procedural maturation process while supporting the regulatory evolution, with the aim of moving from experimentation to the supply of essential services to citizens.

Aeroporti di Roma is also working to design the ground structures, including a vertiport, to facilitate the operational start-up of this type of service in Rome with a challenging timeline to launch the first commercial operations between Fiumicino airport and the city of Rome in 2024.

The protocol is part of a broader process that ENAC has started with the regions and metropolitan cities to meet their needs and help develop an ecosystem for the gradual implementation of intelligent air mobility.

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