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Drone delivers medical supplies, groceries

Northern communities benefitted from test flight
Drone Delivery Canada is calling its beyond-visual-line-of-sight test flights, delivered in Moosonee and Moose Factory in September, successful. (Supplied photo)

A cargo drone successfully delivered medical supplies and groceries in remote Northern Ontario communities during test flights in September.

Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) said the beyond-visual-line-of-sight test flights delivered supplies between the communities of Moosonee and Moose Factory “flawlessly.”

The Vaughan-based company conducted several test flights, approved by Transport Canada and Nav Canada, in the Class E controlled airspace surrounding the Mooseonee airport between Sept. 17 and Sept. 28.

DDC’s Sparrow X1000 drone, which is capable of carrying 10 pounds of payload, successfully delivered medical supplies, dry blood spots kits for HIV, Hepatitis C and general blood chemistry testing, as well as food, automotive parts and general parcels for its customers.

The flights were conducted to and from Mooseonee and the island of Moose Factory. The company said no flight safety incidents occurred, and each mission was completed successfully.

Stan Kapashesit, director of economic development for Moose Cree First Nation, said the community is happy to be working with the company on a logistics solution.

“Living in Canada’s North comes with challenges,” Kapashesit said in an Oct. 2 news release. “The community was extremely excited to see the benefits of DDC’s drone delivery solution as a means to help mitigate our daily challenges, improve our logistics, lower our costs and bring employment to our region.”

DDC said a driving motivation for the company is to provide “a cost-effective and highly efficient logistic solution to these communities to improve lives and to create jobs in Canada’s North all while reducing costs.”

“As a starting point, we intend on targeting outlying communities which experience ongoing and difficult infrastructure challenges,” said DDC CEO Tony Di Benedetto.

“To address these challenges, in the not so distant future we will work closely with Transport Canada and Nav Canada in order to deploy our technology and establish ‘railways in the sky’ where our drones can integrate into existing Canadian airspace to connect communities to one another and provide efficient and cost-effective means of delivery.”

The company said it would provide details of the pilot project via video in roughly 10 days’ time.