Detroit Company Uses Drones to Transport COVID-19 Test Kits in New York

Airspace Link Inc., a provider of solutions designed to help government agencies safely integrate drones into their communities, has worked with the city of Syracuse, N.Y. to transport COVID-19 test kits from a hospital to its biotech building.
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State University of New York Upstate University Medical Hospital
Airspace Link has worked with the city of Syracuse, N.Y. to use drones to transport COVID-19 tests from a hospital to its biotech lab. // Photo courtesy of Airspace Link

Airspace Link Inc., a provider of solutions designed to help government agencies safely integrate drones into their communities, has worked with the city of Syracuse, N.Y. to transport COVID-19 test kits from a hospital to its biotech building.

The deliveries that were piloted in mid-January by DroneUp in Virginia flew COVID-19 test kits from the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate University Medical Hospital. The drone flight distance to the biotech building was about a half mile.

The tests showed that the drone could safely reach the site in as little as three minutes and that the total round-trip time including package drop-off was no more than eight minutes. Reducing the time to transport test kits between facilities will help to speed up the time to get results back to patients.

“SUNY Upstate University Medical Hospital is at the tip of the spear in terms of showing the benefits of these new drone technologies for improving medical treatment for the citizens of Syracuse as well as the broader healthcare industry as a whole,” says Lisa Peterson, vice president of business development for Airspace Link.

“This was also important since the drone flew in the middle of the city during the day over people, requiring a special approval from the FAA. I believe this went a long way to help citizens of Syracuse realize how drones can be safely integrated into their community.”

Airspace Link’s AirHub platform provides the geospatial services and digital infrastructure necessary to support the planning of drone operations. The solution brings together key data from the Federal Aviation Administration and state and local governments to help unlock new advanced, autonomous drone solutions for public safety and health care services.

“We are looking forward to our continued work with the city of Syracuse to help them put in the proper foundation to support the fast adoption of drone technologies by businesses and recreational users, which is driving more drone traffic in the local airspace,” says Michael Healander, CEO of Airspace Link. “Our solution empowers the city with the data-driven insights, planning tools, and digital infrastructure that will help the COVID-19 test kit drone delivery services and future drone operations safely scale.”

The company is a partner of Esri, a geospacial information services platform used by the city of Syracuse for managing data.

Airspace Link is an FAA approved UAS Service Supplier (USS) of the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability. Its low altitude drone infrastructure is deployed to local communities and airports to support the safe use of recreational and commercial drones in the region.

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