The following is an excerpt from Zipline’s press release.
Drone Delivery In The United States and Beyond
Zipline is working with state governments across the country to launch its medical drone delivery as a part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) recently announced UAS Integration Pilot Program (UASIPP). The FAA created the UASIPP as an opportunity for state, local, and tribal governments to partner with the private sector to accelerate the development and deployment of safe commercial drone innovation in the country.
A key priority of the program is integrating autonomous, beyond visual line of sight flights over populated areas into the FAA’s National Airspace System. The FAA is expected to formally approve UASIPP projects in the coming weeks and enter into formal Memorandums of Agreement with applicants by May 7th, 2018. Zipline projects chosen as a part of this process are expected to commence operation by the close of 2018.
“Billions of people on earth lack access to critical medicine,” said Zipline CEO Keller Rinaudo. “In East Africa, Zipline’s drones bring people the medicine they need, when they need it in a way that reduces waste, cost and inventory while increasing access and saving lives. We’ve been hard at work to improve our technology and are ready to help save lives in America and around the world.”
In addition to plans to expand its service to the United States later this year, Zipline announced in August of 2017 plans to launch the world’s most extensive drone delivery service in Tanzania to provide emergency on-demand access to critical and life-saving medicines. Zipline and the government of Tanzania plan to use drone delivery for blood transfusion supplies, emergency vaccines, HIV medications, antimalarials, antibiotics, lab reagents, and basic surgical supplies.