Oban Airport supports drone trial for medical supplies

Council-operated Oban Airport is providing safety support to a trial delivering vital medical supplies between Lorn and Islands District General Hospital, in Oban, and Mull and Iona Community Hospital, Craignure, Isle of Mull.

The team at the airport is providing back up to Skyports, a London-based drone delivery service.

The project is designed to support NHS logistics operations to help provide front-line staff with the necessary equipment to do their jobs safely and to help keep hard-to-reach communities provisioned with essential medical care.

Skyports plans to fly its delivery drones beyond visual line of sight, along a 17km route south from Oban and then north-west to the north coast of the Isle of Mull during a trial from 25 May - 5 June. This will be during the working week and within daylights hours only.

The proposed airspace for the trials is out with the flight restricted zone airspace around the airport, however during the trial period, Oban Airport will relay safety messages to any aircraft in the vicinity.

This initiative is in direct response to the UK Government’s call for help to address and mitigate the health impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

This is not the first time the airport has been involved in research with drones. Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMs), located close to Oban airport, has a department that is dedicated to drone research. Oban airport has been working in partnership with SAMS on research and development of drone activities.