Melbourne-based drone delivery logistics company Swoop Aero is expanding its African drone delivery operations to prepare for COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
“Working with NGO partners and governments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi and now Mozambique, Swoop Aero is implementing scalable drone delivery networks in three African countries and is on track for further growth across the continent,” said a press release. “The drone logistics networks provide all communities with access to critical drugs and vaccines at a time when the rapid transport of medical supplies is more important than ever.”
Africa has taken a leading role in large-scale demonstration of drone deliveries. During the COVID pandemic, Swoop Aero pushed ahead with the implementation of Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone delivery networks in Mozambique, despite limited travel and training opportunities. Swoop Aero completed pilot flight operations with COVID-19 test samples and TB test samples in October 2020.
“Letting our teams travel overseas safely and continuing to deliver was a challenge, but not one that we shied away from,” says Peck. Customers can trust us. “
“After the success of the Phase 1 pilot project in Mozambique; A study was completed earlier this month evaluating the safety, feasibility and acceptability of medical drone shipments by the community. The results are positive, ”says the press release. “This is an important step in integrating drones into the national health system. We look forward to working with local communities to expand our networks across Mozambique.”
Swoop Aero’s African drone shipments also include Malawi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In Malawi, Swoop Aero moves critical supplies during the annual flood season when road infrastructure becomes vulnerable. In early January, official operations began in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, “in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the NGO partner VillageReach with funding from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Crown Family” known the company.
In the first three months of operation More than 20,000 doses of vaccine have been dispensed on hundreds of long-haul flightsThis enables thousands of children to be vaccinated through the transport of vaccination products and personal protective equipment (PPE). Swoop Aero trained 16 health facility employees as well as a complete local team that included operators and pilots.
The company sees a significant opportunity for drone logistics to strengthen existing transportation services and effectively distribute the COVID-19 vaccine and related supplies. “Our networks are rapidly scalable and can be deployed when and where they are needed,” says Eric Peck, CEO of Swoop Aero. “As the pandemic spread in March 2020, we tripled our fleet of aircraft in Malawi and increased our on-site staff to manage and control the network. We supplied COVID-19 test kits, face masks and PPE.” says Peck.
“We have seen the effects of drone logistics on our African activities. Creating healthier communities is at the heart of everything we do. and we see a great opportunity in using drone logistics to create healthier cities. “
Miriam McNabb is editor-in-chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a marketplace for professional drone services, and a fascinating observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Author of over 3,000 articles focusing on the commercial drone space, Miriam is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam graduated from the University of Chicago and has over 20 years experience in high-tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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