Government Latest Plans about coronavirus
The government has announced plans to shift medical supplies to the Isle of Wight from Hampshire. But there is a twist to this that makes it more interesting: it would involve the use of drones!
Based on information gotten from the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, this new development will come into effect by the beginning of next week.
Earlier in March this year the government announced that it would release funding for a certain air traffic control system. This funding would also be available for tests on drones.
According to Mr Shapps, it has become urgent for this trial to commence sooner than planned.
At present,it has become difficult to travel to the Isle of Wight. This is because ferry crossing have been reduced. It has become difficult to cross on ferries due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
But the flight to the Isle of Wight can be greatly reduced with a new technology. Would involve the use of Unmanned Aeriel Vehicle ( UAV) . With this new technology the flight time can be reduced to just about 10 minutes.
Expectedly, the government will make at least four flights to the Isle of Wight everyday. Though, this would depend on the needs of the NHS.
Based on a report by the BBC, initial flights would only carry personal protective equipment (PPE). In the future these drones are expected to carry organs and even blood.
For the commencement of this trial, Windtracer Ultra fixed-wing drone would be used. These drones are petrol-powered. These drones have the ability to carry up to 100kg of items for 1000km (621 miles). Nonetheless, the drones would not be loaded to full capacity for the first trials.
Based on information from the government, the drone would fly on its own along a route. This fixed route will be between the Brinstead on the Isle of Wight and the Lee-on-the-Solent in Hampshire.
However, the trail cannot start without all necessary clearance from relevant agencies. It is understood that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has not yet approved the route. All the same, the flight is expected to be controlled by two safety pilots both manning the two airfields.
Goods being conveyed by these drones will be dropped at the destination airfield. From there it would be transported by road to Saint Mary’s Hospital at the Isle of Wight.