Industry and government partners joined forces to use unmanned aircraft systems, commonly known as drones, to deliver medical supplies to a health clinic in Wise, Virginia. The Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership led by Virginia Tech oversaw the groundbreaking research flights.
“Unmanned aerial systems are an emerging technology that can make people’s lives better and contribute to our efforts to build a new Virginia economy,” said Gov. Terry McAuliffe. “Today we witnessed historic flights that demonstrate the potential for unmanned aircraft to provide essential services to citizens in remote locations in Virginia and across the globe. Virginia is once again paving a path to the future.”
McAuliffe, Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands, local officials, and health care providers were on hand to observe the testing of unmanned aircraft. Researchers were investigating the aircraft for the delivery of pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies in rural areas, where transportation challenges often get in the way of health care.