Hyderabad: Telangana on Thursday became the first state to test delivery of drugs using drones, with a test flight organised in the Vikarabad district. A formal launch of the service, to carry vaccines, is scheduled for September 11 when civil aviation minister Jyotiradtya Scindia will flag off the service along with state IT minister K.T. Rama Rao at Vikarabad.
Thursday’s trial flight, as part of the state government's ‘Medicine from the Sky’ project, was launched by Vikarabad collector K. Nikhila. The first flight was for about for 500 metres, with a drone carrying a box weighing around 3 kg.
After the test flight, during which the drone flew at a height of about 400 feet, Nikhila said the project aimed to deliver medicines and vaccines to remote areas with beyond a visual line of sight capability.
While the trial flights will be short and in line of sight — the will be always be visible to operators — once formally launched, the drones are expected to fly beyond visual range for anywhere up to 10 kilometres, making delivery of medicinces, vaccines, or other small medical items quickly to hospitals and clinics.