The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reported on progress in August on its drone integration pilot program.
“Successful flights in North Carolina, Virginia, Kansas and Oklahoma demonstrate how the FAA’s program awardees are using drones in innovative ways to assist in their communities in their day-to-day duties,” said an agency statement. “WakeMed Health and Hospitals successfully flew a Matternet drone in Raleigh, N.C. to demonstrate how drones can be used to deliver medical supplies to rural areas…. In other flights, the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership and the FAA teamed up to successfully complete the country’s first long-distance drone delivery test; an ice-cream cone was delivered to a child. The Kansas Department of Transportation and the FAA flew a drone beyond visual sight, a giant step towards advancing drone technology to help precision agriculture and infrastructure inspections. In Oklahoma, the Choctaw Nation and the FAA demonstrated how drones can be used to bait feral hog traps.”
At the end of August the three-year programme to develop drone-based medical supply deliveries in Raleigh began with deliveries of vials of water between different buildings in the WakeMed hospital area. Over the next few months and years the programme will expand to see drones carrying medical samples and supplies between WakeMed facilities in different parts of the county.