Skyports demonstrates medical drone delivery in Thailand
The demonstration in Satun for Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health marks the expansion of Skyports Drone Services’ work in Thailand, following a successful year of expanding its range of services across existing and new markets.
Skyports Drone Services successfully conducted a landmark medical drone delivery demonstration for Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health. The demonstration comes after Skyports Drone Services successfully obtained Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) permissions from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).
The showcase was conducted for the country’s Medical UAV Committee, which is tasked with exploring the potential use of drone technology in advancing the speed and efficiency of medical services across Thailand, particularly in remote and underserved regions. The Committee consists of members from CAAT, the Ministry of Public Health and Department of Medical Services, with support from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), AEROTHAI and Satun Province.
Dr Sophon Mekthana, Assistant Minister of Public Health and Chairman of the Committee said, “With the successful conclusion of this demonstration, we see the strong potential of drone delivery services for helping people in need. When sick, even those residing in the most remote communities can promptly access medicines and medical supplies to receive timely treatment, or if disasters occur, drones can be used to support medical and humanitarian missions. We will be able to transport medical supplies, vaccines and bloods as needed, as well as use this demonstration as a model for future missions in other areas of the country.”
Sanjay Suresh, APAC General Manager for Skyports Drone Services, said, “The demonstration today is the first important step in showcasing the tangible benefits of medical drone delivery services to the local authorities and healthcare organisations. Drawing from the experience and expertise of our global operations, we are able to bring our rigorously tested practices and proven operations to Thailand’s unique landscape and demonstrate the effectiveness of our work. When safely deployed at scale, medical drone delivery networks will support the efforts of Thailand’s healthcare sector in better serving patients through enhanced accessibility and timeliness.”
Taking off from Ratchakit Prakan Stadium, adjacent to Satun Hospital, a 3kg payload consisting of medical samples were flown to a landing zone near Puyu Health Centre. Covering a distance of approximately 12km, the aircraft completed the mission in under seven minutes. The traditional route, which requires transport by car and ferry, would typically take approximately 55 minutes.
The demonstration serves as an important starting point for illustrating the feasibility and impact of BVLOS medical drone deliveries in enhancing speed, connectivity and safety in the delivery of supplies to remote and hard-to-reach areas in the country. Skyports Drone Services remains committed to continued collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health, and Thailand’s regulators and authorities to advance the country’s efforts in enhancing accessibility to essential medical services via drone delivery technology.
The demonstration in Satun marks the expansion of Skyports Drone Services’ work in Thailand, following a successful year of expanding its range of services across existing and new markets. In March 2023, the company completed a Proof of Concept for medical drone deliveries in Kaga City, Japan. This was followed by the introduction of the company’s Cash-to-Master service for ship-to-shore deliveries in Singapore and Korea. Earlier in the year, the company’s Korean branch office, Skyports Drone Services Korea, was established via a Joint Venture agreement with local drone technology company, Marine Drone Tech.