Unmanned Aircraft to Test Medical Supply Deliveries
Unmanned aircraft will soon be deployed to test the feasibility of delivering emergency medical supplies across Alaska as a part of a national initiative from the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and the White House.
The Federal Aviation Administration and DOT expanded the scope of the Alaska Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program’s efforts to include medical supply delivery in remote regions due to the life-saving potential of these operations across Alaska, with an initial test across Turnagain Arm fjord south of Anchorage.
K2 Dronotics, Unmanned Systems Alaska LLC and the University of Alaska Fairbanks plan to conduct the first flights early in 2019.
Unmanned Systems Alaska, in conjunction with Battlespace Inc. and UAF, is working with the FAA to develop a process that may eventually lead to the standards under which Alaska unmanned aircraft operators can obtain the air carrier certificates required to commercially carry medical supplies and other cargo across the state.
“The ability of Alaska companies to get FAA certified for commercial unmanned aircraft medical supply delivery and cargo-carrying operations will have a dramatic effect on Alaska’s economy and the health and well-being of all Alaskans,” said Cathy Cahill, the director of the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration at UAF. “This is exactly what the IPP is designed to do for Alaska and the nation.”
In This Issue
The Unbroken Supply Chain
Alaskans have some experience both with isolation and sudden emergencies. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, seasonal flooding, and wildfires seldom schedule their arrival. And while emerging technology and developing infrastructure have allowed Alaska to become more connected, as Alaskans we know we’re still at the end of the road—even more so for those living beyond the road in Alaska’s remote communities.