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31 May 2022, Melbourne, Australia: Swoop Aero has partnered with the drone services subsidiary of heavy air logistics specialist Astral Aviation and drone operations partner Skyports, to launch a drone logistics network in Kenya. Swoop Aero’s experience operating drone logistics networks in 7 countries alongside their native technology platform will be employed to transport medicines, vaccines, and medical samples between healthcare facilities and patients in need across Kenya, beginning with last-mile delivery by the end of 2022. These operations present a first for the region, encompassing the first Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone flight and operation demonstration approvals, launched in close coordination with the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority to ensure safety and compliance with local regulations.
Swoop Aero will deploy its complete technology infrastructure and drone logistics experience in this latest endeavour with local Kenyan experts Astral Aerial Solutions operating the network, closely in partnership with drone infrastructure provider, Skyports, to rapidly improve access to routine and emergency medicine, vaccines and pathology in the region.
“We’re excited to be expanding Swoop Aero’s service in Kenya in partnership with Astral Aerial Solutions and Skyports, in what will be a first for the region. Kenya represents the 14th country in which the Swoop Aero technology platform has underpinned BVLOS drone logistics regulatory approvals. The regulatory approvals and operations will bring Swoop Aero closer to providing an integrated drone logistics service to 100 million people by 2025”, said Eric Peck, CEO of Swoop Aero.
The partnership will extend the reach of Swoop Aero’s existing integrated logistics platform, supporting the transport of medical samples and supplies with cold-chain delivery, as well as remote access operations and ease of integration into the region’s existing healthcare network with minimal need for additional infrastructure.
Kenyan-based drone operator, Astral Aerial Solutions, brings a history of local aviation expertise and in collaboration with Swoop Aero’s leading integrated drone logistics platform, will provide a world-class healthcare solution to clients in the first and last mile. “We’re excited to be coming together with Skyports and Swoop Aero to offer last-mile delivery solutions in Kenya. This partnership presents a unique opportunity to reduce delivery times and increase accessibility to healthcare and other industries that may support drone logistics into the future.”, said Kush Gadhia, CEO Astral Aerial Solutions.
Skyports has previously partnered with Swoop Aero to deliver and distribute COVID-19 commodities across the UK, saving over 11,000 hours of pathology wait time with flights spanning a distance of 14,000km. Speaking on their newest venture, Skyports’ Alex Brown, Director Drone Services said, “This week Astral Aerial Solutions, Swoop Aero and Skyports flew Kenya’s first Beyond Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone deliveries. These first flights represent the key first step of our plan to bring drone deliveries to Kenyan communities, improving connectivity, logistics and healthcare”.
Drone integration into the Kenyan healthcare system through this partnership presents a significant opportunity for improved access to healthcare across Kenya, with capacity for the scalable and sustainable provision of services and supplies. With initial operations focused specifically on medical supplies and the healthcare sector, Swoop Aero will develop additional applications for drone logistics across the country in the coming months. The addition of the Kite™ aircraft to Swoop Aero’s technology platform supports real-time tracking, capture, and analytics, and will further enable additional cross-industry functionalities, including aerial mapping and monitoring, search and rescue capabilities, as well as emergency response and disaster management.