It’s been quite a week for drone delivery. The FAA announced that Wing had received the first ever airline carrier for drones authorization, which would open the doors to commercial package delivery in the United States.
Now, global drone delivery heroes Zipline, who established a ground-breaking medical delivery network in Rwanda and have set the standard for developing drone delivery programs in developing countries, announce the largest vaccine drone delivery network in the world.
Having developed their systems in Rwanda and Tanzania, Zipline has now taken a giant step in scale, increasing the volume of deliveries by 100x. It’s an amazing, heart-warming, and significant application for drone technology.
“No one in Ghana should die because they can’t access the medicine they need in an emergency,” said His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana. “Every single life in this country is precious. Every mother, every child, every parent, every person. We must do everything within our means to ensure that each and every citizen of Ghana has access to the quality healthcare they deserve. That’s why Ghana is launching the world’s largest drone delivery service. It represents a major step towards giving everyone in this country universal access to lifesaving medicine.”
Not only is the application fascinating, but the scale and scope of the delivery program provide a proof of concept for drone delivery programs – and healthcare programs – around the world. Please read on to learn more about Zipline’s project, and how a large-scale, on-demand drone delivery program works.
The following is taken from a Zipline press release. The quote above was excerpted from this release.
OMENAKO, GHANA Wednesday, April 24th—Today, during World Immunization Week, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana officially launched the world’s largest medical drone delivery service during an inaugural ceremony in the city of Omenako, site of the first of four Zipline drone distribution centers in the country.
The revolutionary new service will use drones to make on-demand, emergency deliveries of 148 different vaccines, blood products, and life-saving medications. The service will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from 4 distribution centers—each equipped with 30 drones—and deliver to 2,000 health facilities serving 12 million people across the country. Together, all four distribution centers will make up to 600 on-demand delivery flights a day on behalf of the Government of Ghana. Each Zipline distribution center has the capacity to make up to 500 flights per day.
“Millions of people across the world—in both developed and developing countries—die each year because they can’t get the medicine they need when they need it,” said Zipline CEO Keller Rinaudo. “That’s why Zipline is building the first logistics system on the planet to serve all people equally.”