For the first time in Italy, blood samples dangerous goods were transported by drone. In the Milan area, D-Flight - an ENAV Group company owned by Leonardo and Telespazio - which provides drone traffic management services, and ENAC, the National Civil Aviation Authority, have carried out - with a specially equipped drone - several flights for the transfer of untested blood samples (dangerous good) taken at the Opera (Milan) and Rozzano (Milan) centers of the company Cerba HealthCare Italia, an important player in diagnostics and clinical analyses.
The flights, carried out on Monday 27 February, took place in BVLOS mode (Beyond Visual Line Of Sight), without pilot's visual contact with the drone. The aircraft, which took off and landed in a controlled fenced area (3x3 meters) is a hexarotor with ballistic parachute, dual communication channel and flight termination system verified by EASA, which weighed 25 kg with its load. The flights, operated by Nimbus company which designed and developed the drone and the box for the safe transport of blood to be subjected to analysis, involved rural and urban areas.
“The experimentation in Milan – declares Alessio Quaranta, ENAC Director General – is part of the strategic activities of advanced air mobility carried out thanks to technological innovation for the citizens. This is the first operating authorization in a specific category issued by ENAC in accordance with Regulation (EU) no. 2019/947 for the safe transport with a drone of biological samples that the legislation classifies as dangerous goods. Ensuring that these services become our daily routine as soon as possible cannot disregard the construction of a system that operates in synergy, as was the case with ENAV and D-Flight. The success of the experiment makes us optimistic for a rapid development of operations with UAS and, more generally, for the implementation of new advanced and sustainable air mobility technologies that are leading us towards a very near future".
“Today we are facing a concrete example of Innovative Air Mobility in Italy” says Maurizio Paggetti, Chief Operating Officer of ENAV and Chief Executive Officer of D-Flight. “This is a further step for the creation of U-Space in Italy, the airspace dedicated to drones. The experimentation and coordination work with the actors of the unmanned world is making the possibility of using drones in multiple activities increasingly concrete for the benefit of the sustainability and efficiency of services. We continue to work with ENAC on the harmonization of systems, trying to optimize the airspace infrastructure thanks to cutting-edge technologies and procedures"