Matternet, a leading urban drone delivery platform developer, has been authorized by the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA), Germany’s Federal Aviation Office, to launch beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone delivery operations in Berlin. This approval marks the inception of Berlin’s first-ever BVLOS drone delivery network.
The new drone delivery network aims to connect 13 hospitals with Europe’s largest hospital laboratory, Labor Berlin, which handles over 6 million lab samples annually. The network will facilitate ultra-fast delivery of critical samples in the densely populated city, serving millions of patients each year once fully operational.
Andreas Raptopoulos, Founder and CEO of Matternet, expressed his excitement about the partnership with Labor Berlin, stating, “Healthcare systems need a fast, reliable and cost-effective solution to transport lab samples and pharmacy items to ensure patients receive best-in-class care.”
The drone delivery network, which is set to commence operations early next year following federal state level clearance, will primarily target emergency diagnostics. It is expected to increase operational efficiency and reduce carbon emissions from the nearly 250,000 miles per day that cars travel within the city.
Nina Beikert, Labor Berlin CEO, highlighted the benefits of the collaboration with Matternet, saying, “These operations align with our dedication to innovation and sustainability as drone delivery not only accelerates emergency testing, but also enhances supply chain efficiencies while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Matternet holds U.S. Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) Type Certification and Production Certification, as well as BVLOS operational approvals from the FAA and the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA). The company has been delivering lab samples via drone in Switzerland since 2017 and in the US since 2019, transporting tens of thousands of specimens for various hospitals.