Novant Health, Zipline launch US’ first emergency drone logistics operation
Novant Health, Inc., a not-for-profit, integrated healthcare system headquartered in North Carolina, partnered with Zipline, the world’s only national-scale, on-demand drone logistics service, and announced the launch of America’s first emergency drone logistics operation for hospital pandemic response.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Novant Health an emergency Part 107 waiver to begin operation, which is being launched as part of the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT’s) Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program (IPP).
The operation provides contactless distribution of personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies to frontline medical teams in the Charlotte, North Carolina, metro area. The operation helps position Novant Health, which operates 15 hospitals and nearly 700 locations in the southeastern United States, to adapt quickly to the evolving pandemic and could lead to innovative uses such as testing, drug trials, and vaccine distribution in the future.
The new operation marks the first ongoing long-range drone logistics flights approved by the FAA; the first time ongoing drone logistics flights have been approved to operate in Class-D controlled airspace, where all air traffic is actively managed by the FAA; and the first time the FAA has granted a part 107 waiver to a major U.S. healthcare system. True to its roots, North Carolina is once again “First in Flight.”
About The New Operation
Zipline, which has partnered with Novant Health, will provide drone flight services under an agreement with Novant Health, supported by additional agreements among Novant Health, Zipline, and NCDOT.
The emergency drone fulfilment center, which is adjacent to the Novant Health Logistics Center in Kannapolis, North Carolina, will launch Zipline drones to distribute Novant Health’s critical medical products to its area hospitals. The emergency drone fulfilment center was made possible by Stewart-Haas Racing, which generously contributed the site.
Two initial routes have been approved by the FAA for the launch of operations. Service will begin with flights to Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center and expand in later phases.
Flights to initial facilities will range in distance from 20 to 30 miles round trip—the first ongoing long-range drone logistics flights approved by FAA.
Prior to the launch of this operation, typical drone logistics flights in America ranged between 500 feet to a mile and a half in distance. Zipline’s drones have a round trip range of over 100 miles, making them capable of delivering medical supplies from the Novant Health Logistics Center to more than 30 additional Novant Health facilities upon approval of additional routes by the FAA.
The drones take off from and land at the emergency drone fulfilment center, requiring no additional infrastructure at the Novant Health facilities they serve. Deliveries are made from the sky, with the drone descending to a safe height above the ground and dropping off a box of medical products by parachute at a designated spot. The drones can carry close to four pounds of cargo, flying up to 80 miles an hour, even in high winds and rain.
The emergency fulfilment center, like those operated by Zipline in the nations of Rwanda and Ghana, can serve an almost 8,000 square mile area and micro-target the distribution of more than two tonnes of medical supplies a week.
“Novant Health has long been at the forefront of leveraging technology to enhance how health care is delivered to our patients,” said Angela Yochem, executive vice president and chief digital and technology officer, Novant Health. “The COVID-19 pandemic has tasked us with being even more nimble and innovative in how we solve complex challenges. Fast-tracking our medical drone transport capability is just one example of how we’re pioneering in the health care industry, which is known for being resistant to change. We are very grateful to the FAA and North Carolina’s DOT for their help to expedite the process during this unprecedented time.”
“Zipline has been hard at work helping other countries respond to the pandemic,” said Zipline CEO Keller Rinaudo. “And we’re proud to partner with Novant Health, a true leader in health care innovation, to begin helping in the United States as well. We’re likely in for a long-term fight against COVID-19. Using contactless drone logistics will be an important tool in that effort. The work underway here in North Carolina will provide the rest of the country with a blueprint for how to build the most resilient and responsive health care system possible.”
Over the next two years, the partnership plans to expand beyond emergency operations in the Charlotte area to regular commercial operations, subject to approval under FAA Part 135 rules, to serve health facilities and, ultimately, patients’ homes across the state. Novant Health and Zipline’s partnership seeks to create a next-generation model for health system logistics leveraging contactless drone deliveries.
"Hopefully, this project and ones like it can help ease the strain on our medical supply chains,” said N.C. Secretary of Transportation Eric Boyette. "We're living though an unprecedented situation, and we're going to need innovative solutions like this to get us through it."
You may also like:-
Worldwide yield/rate has been stable for three weeks in a row (USD 2.83 per kg in week 38)
The remains were reinterred Sunday, September 13, in the Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, with tribal leaders in attendance.
The shipment, which was the largest donation received from private industry, included 12,500 isolation gowns, 100,000 N95 masks and 400,000 surgical masks.
Otávio joined LATAM Airlines Group in 2015, initially working in cargo planning and commercial areas but since 2019, he was LATAM Cargo Brazil’s Operations vice president.
The large amount of high dense engineering goods, destined for Europe & North America, that made the difference on weight.
The CMA CGM Group investment will result from the combination of a subscription to a capital increase for an amount of 50 million euros and the acquisition of shares.
IATA’s director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said that when the AGM was postponed from June to November, they hoped that government restrictions on travel would be eased but that is now unlikely.
The addition of the five points will expand the Emirates' global network to 92 destinations, as the airline gradually resumes its operations while prioritising the safety of its customers, crew and the communities it serves around the world.
Edmonton International Airport (EIA) has partnered with GLC Medical, a subsidiary of Graphene Leaders Canada (GLC), to host clinical trials of a new technology for Covid-19 testing that can produce results in seconds.
While Astral Aviation will be a new Full Member, Bombelli Airport Equipment will come on board as an Associate Partner.
Continuing its technological investments, the software reduces the error rate at its business processes as well as the costs while improving the employee productivity among other aspects
SEOSAT-Ingenio is the first Spanish satellite with optical technology, developed primarily by the Spanish space industry led by Airbus in Spain as the prime contractor.
Weekly direct flights will depart from Shanghai (PVG) every Monday and from Amsterdam (AMS) each Sunday to service for a post-COVID resurgence in demand during what is traditionally a fourth quarter peak season.