By Chris Stonor
Swoop Aero is the latest drone delivery company to join the Airspace Integration Trials Program, reports a company press release. This move should improve access to healthcare for communities across New Zealand.
For joining the program allows the country’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and Swoop Aero to work together and integrate advanced aerial technology around New Zealand.
Since the drone delivery company’s establishment in 2017, Swoop Aero has undertaken over 7,250 operational flights to deliver temperature-controlled critical supplies, including vaccines, Covid-19 and HIV tests, pathology samples and anti-venom doses, across seven countries and three continents. Swoop Aero’s craft is an eVTOL system that can carry a 3 kg payload up to 130 km on a single charge.
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Swoop Aero co-founder and CEO, Eric Peck, commented, “We are looking forward to working with New Zealand health providers to transform how their essential supplies are moving and drive toward a future where supply chains bring emotional and economic prosperity to all they serve.”
The partnership aims to develop “a multi-year programme to fully integrate their advanced uncrewed aircraft technology in New Zealand.” This involves determining route plans, certification plans, regulatory requirements and linking up with other businesses.
Dr Peter Crabtree
Dr Peter Crabtree, General Manager Science, Innovation and International, MBIE, said, “Uncrewed aircraft technology can greatly enhance our communities and lives but there are still a number of technical challenges to address before we can safely integrate these vehicles into our everyday lives.”.
He continued, “Our industry partners will help us to develop a thriving, innovative and safe advanced aviation sector by working with us through these technical challenges. New Zealand is the ideal location to test drones and other advanced aerospace technologies.”
Swoop Aero joins existing industry partners Wisk New Zealand, Kea Aerospace, Envico Technologies and Aeronavics in the Airspace Integration Programme.
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