Southern Queensland provides AUD1.8 million to deploy ‘largest integrated drone logistics network’

Australia’s federal government of Southern Queensland is providing AUD1.8 million to expand drone logistics operations by Swoop Aero. The company aims to deploy “the world’s largest integrated drone logistics network’ said Swoop Aero CEO and Co-founder Eric Peck.

According to sUASnews, the network will have a full-service coverage of more than 175,000 square kilometres, with the ability to extend services over more than 400,000 square kilometres. Swoop Aero will deliver a range of essential supplies and services, including medical transport, search and rescue, environmental monitoring and mapping, and general delivery, says the report.

The accelerated scale-up has been funded via Southern Queensland’s Emerging Aviation Technology Partnerships (EATP) programme and with supporting service interest from a range of commercial partners, including Darling Downs Health Services, EBOS Group, UPS, Mater Group, Pathology Queensland, Midnight Health, Goondir Indigenous Health Services Corporation, Lucy Walker Terry White Chemmart, and Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise.

Swoop Aero’s Southern Queensland integrated drone logistics network is expected to contribute to the transformation of Australian businesses by building a new infrastructure layer for society, bridging the gaps in society’s infrastructure by overcoming vast distances, traffic congestion, location accessibility, inhospitable terrain, and data shortages.

The network, spanning an area greater than the size of New Zealand, will leverage Swoop Aero’s most advanced aircraft, the Kite. The platform is currently undergoing a joint Type Certification process with the US’s Federal Aviation Authority and Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority, says the sUASnews report.

As part of the Digital Economy Strategy announced on 6 May 2021, the former Government committed AUD32.6 million over two years to establish the Emerging Aviation Technology Partnerships Program (the Program). The Program will support strategic partnerships with industry, using emerging aviation technology to address community needs, particularly in regional Australia, up to 30 June 2024.

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