Drones to deliver medical supplies to Stellat’en FN

Drones could solve problems of getting medical tests in and out of remote communities

Drone delivery pilot project to begin this summer. | UBC

The Stellat’en First Nation will become the first community in B.C. to start receiving small cargo deliveries by drone.

In collaboration with Air Canada, the University of British Columbia, and LifeLabs, Drone Delivery Canada Corp. (TSX-V: FLT) will use commercial drones to deliver essential medical supplies and diagnostic tests to the First Nation community in the village of Fraser Lake.

A defined route will be identified and takeoff and landing zones developed to enable Drone Delivery Canada to use its Sparrow drone to make last-mile delivery of things like diagnostic tests. DDC plans to have site infrastructure in place this summer.

“We’re pleased to have finalized our contract with Drone Delivery Canada and to be moving on to the next stage of this project,” Michael Allard, vice dean of Health Engagement at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine.

“As we transition into a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the risk of wildfires, we are looking forward to learning about how this innovative transportation technology can be used to meet community needs and help address inequities in access to health-care supplies and services.”

 “Based on the isolated location of our community and the needs of our residents, drone transport may enhance our access to COVID-19 testing and medication without traveling and endangering other members of our community,” said Stellat’en Chief Robert Michell.

“Improved delivery times of essential supplies to remote locations can make all the difference in protecting the Stellat’en First Nation community and saving lives,” said Charles Brown CEO of LifeLabs.  “We are proud to be participating in this project that will also help to advance our knowledge for the future use of drone technology to transport clinical materials and samples for lab testing.”

The company is currently working on a next generation drone that could carry a payload of 4.5 kilograms a distance of 30 kilometres.