Friday 16 December 2022Health news5 minutes to read
Swoop Aero is set to launch New Zealand’s first integrated drone logistics network in partnership with Te Whatu Ora in early 2023.
The network will connect Greymouth and Westport, providing integrated drone logistics. Initially, the project which is funded through Te Whatu Ora-Led Improvement Sustainability Funding will concentrate on the collection of pathology samples from Westport for rapid processing in Greymouth. In the future, it may also include the delivery of other urgently required items like clinical supplies between both locations. The service will enhance health outcomes for local residents and build resilience into the supply chain on the West Coast.
Te Whatu Ora General Manager on the West Coast, Philip Wheble says, “the use of this type of technology offers an exciting opportunity in how laboratory services are provided to Buller residents. We envisage drone transfers will be used for urgent pathology services and during Civil Defence emergencies”.
“In the past 18 months, the Buller community has experienced three significant weather events resulting in road closures between Westport and Greymouth. Having access to this technology during Civil Defence emergencies will enable our teams to continue providing these services with minimal disruption”.
Te Whatu Ora National Director of Improvement and Innovation Dr Dale Bramley said the arrival of a drone delivery service in the New Zealand health system offered great potential.
“This technology has been trialled successfully overseas and the new service between Greymouth and Westport will help establish whether drones could play a future role in the movement of time-sensitive medications, specimens and other medical goods across the country.
“The use of drone technology offers the potential to reduce transport times, particularly in places such as Auckland where traffic congestion is a major issue. We will watch with interest to assess the benefits of a potential wider rollout.”
Swoop Aero was founded to make access to the skies seamless and is a global leader in integrated drone logistics. Since 2017, Swoop Aero networks have carried out over 23,000 flights, having received advanced aviation approvals in 14 countries, which has enabled the delivery of over 1.3 million items.
Swoop Aero’s team will continue to work with the Civil Aviation Authority to gain the aviation approvals required for the launch of the network, to ensure the Swoop Aero platform meets the highest global safety standards to enable the seamless integration of drone logistics. Before the project gets off the ground, the team will also be seeking the necessary resource consents.
Swoop Aero’s CEO and Co-founder Eric Peck says, “Swoop Aero has proven that we are global leaders in drone logistics, with successfully sustained networks from Malawi to Australia. We are proud to now announce Aotearoa New Zealand’s first integrated drone logistics network in partnership with Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand”.
“Integrated drone logistics bridges the gaps in society’s infrastructure by overcoming vast distances, traffic congestion, location inaccessibility, inhospitable terrain, and data shortages, and by leveraging the most advanced technology-based drone logistics platform on the market, Swoop Aero will unlock the skies above New Zealand.
“Over the coming months, Swoop Aero will engage with aviation operators and the wider community on the West Coast to provide further information on the next giant leap in how essential supplies and services are delivered”, says Mr Peck.
Since its founding, Swoop Aero has worked with some of the largest organisations in global logistics across four continents, including UPS, EBOS, UNICEF, the Gates Foundation, UK Aid and USAID.
To learn more about Swoop Aero: https://swoop.aero/
Page last updated: 16 December 2022
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