Drones will deliver COVID-19-related medical supplies to residents of Beausoleil First Nation (BSN) in a first-of-its-kind agreement.
Vaughan-based Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) will use its Sparrow drone – which can travel 30 kilometres and carry up to 10 pounds – to convey personal protective equipment (PPE), hygiene kits, test kits, test swabs, and more between the mainland and Christian Island of the southern Ontario Indigenous community located at the southern tip of Georgian Bay north of Barrie.
Partners on the six-month agreement include GlobalMedic, an Etobicoke-based humanitarian aid organization; OEC Group (Canada), a global logistics provider; and other donors.
DDC said it would start building infrastructure shortly, and services are expected to start in the third quarter of 2020.
“The Beausoleil First Nation community will benefit from our drone delivery solution during the COVID-19 pandemic by limiting person-to-person contact between the mainland and Christian Island, while keeping their supply chain open,” said Michael Zahra, president and CEO of DDC, in a June 4 news release.
“Our solution is ideal for this application and we look forward to seeing the benefits for the community.”
The agreement is being touted by the company as the first of its kind in Canada.
In 2018, DDC and Moose Cree First Nation, located 19 kilometres south of James Bay, signed a $2.5-million agreement after DDC used the community as a test case to prove its technology and delivery platform.
According to that agreement, DDC drones will fly between Moose Cree’s mainland and Moose Factory Island, delivering letters, general parcels, medical supplies, and other general necessities.
But the operation is not yet up and running.
Last year, Stan Kapashesit, Moose Cree’s director of economic development, said the parties were waiting for approval on funding before it could get started.