Abu Dhabi gets world’s first city-wide medical drone network

abu dhabi

Matternet, logistics company Skygo and Abu Dhabi Department of Health (DoH) will set up a city-wide drone delivery network for the rapid transport of medical goods in Abu Dhabi. The network will significantly increase the connectivity of the Emirate’s health ecosystem and position it as a global leader in advanced air mobility. The DoH shared news of the project yesterday (press release).

To bring its services to Abu Dhabi, Matternet has partnered with SkyGo, a UAE company with in-depth knowledge of the Abu Dhabi healthcare landscape and expertise in logistics and distribution in the Gulf region. Matternet, which has been flying Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) commercially over cities since 2017, will operate its technology under SkyGo’s license for BVLOS drone delivery, and transport urgent, high-value goods such as COVID-19 vaccines, blood, and lab samples across the Abu Dhabi’s health system. Notably, last month Matternet became the first drone company in the U.S. to start transporting the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by drone.

The Abu Dhabi city network will enable faster turnaround time (TAT) of diagnostic and pathological samples, more reliable shipment of time-critical supplies, waste reduction from inventory centralization, and consolidation of distributed facilities (e.g. labs and pharmacies) to lower overhead. The service will grow to a 24/7 operation and become an indispensable part of Abu Dhabi’s logistics infrastructure.

The companies plan to install 40 droneports in Abu Dhabi by the end of the first year of operation. A drone transportation network at this scale not only will make healthcare more efficient and improve patient outcomes, but also will reduce the number of delivery vehicles on Abu Dhabi’s roads, alleviating congestion, improving air quality, and lowering the city’s carbon footprint.

SkyGo and Matternet have completed the first phase of in-country flight testing, and at the DoH headquarters in Abu Dhabi the companies recently hosted a real-time demonstration of the service in the presence of H.E. Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, H.E. Eng. Sultan Bin Saed Al Mansoori, H.E. Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi Undersecretary of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, and H.E. Sultan Al Dhaheri, Executive Board Member of SkyGo among others. The demo flight transported a live patient PCR test from Zayed Sports City to a laboratory with end-to-end chain of custody tracking via Matternet’s Terminal and Mission Control applications. The companies plan to complete testing by the end of year and begin commercial operations in Q1 2022.

“We are seeing Matternet’s vision of building city-wide drone transportation infrastructure come to fruition in Abu Dhabi,” said Andreas Raptopoulos, Matternet’s CEO. “The complementary expertise and synergies with SkyGo have enabled us to move at unprecedented speed with plans to launch a network covering dozens of Abu Dhabi healthcare facilities in just the first year of operation. This will be a model for the rest of the world on how to successfully scale drone delivery for the benefit of healthcare and society overall.”

Houssam Mahmoud, SkyGo’s CEO added, “SkyGo and Matternet are on a journey to reinvent the supply chain for ‘The City of The Future.’ The first milestone will be to connect the entire healthcare ecosystem in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.”

About Matternet
Matternet has developed best-in-class technology for on-demand, aerial delivery in urban environments. The company provides its technology platform-as-a-service to healthcare and logistics organizations. In March 2017, Matternet became the first company in the world to be authorized for commercial BVLOS operations of drone logistics networks over cities in Switzerland. In March 2019, Matternet and UPS announced a partnership to provide drone delivery services to US healthcare systems, with networks at WakeMed Health in NC and Wake Forest Baptist Health. In October 2019, Matternet’s technology enabled the first FAA-Approved Drone Airline in the US, UPS Flight Forward. In September 2020, Matternet expanded to Asia through a partnership with Japan Airlines (JAL). In November 2020, Matternet initiated the first permanent BVLOS medical drone network in the European Union with Labor Berlin. In September 2021, Matternet powered the first Covid-19 vaccine drone delivery in the United States. To date, Matternet technology has enabled 15,000+ commercial revenue drone flights. For more information about Matternet, please visit the website.

Universal Hydrogen sets foot in Europe with new R&D Centre in Toulouse


Hydrogen is the only viable and scalable solution for decarbonizing aviation and it is the most weight-efficient energy carrier and aerospace is the most weight-sensitive vertical. But the biggest impediment to hydrogen aviation has been lack of infrastructure.

By Using their modular capsule technology, hydrogen is transported and distributed via the existing global freight network.

To spur adoption Universal Hydrogen has developed a conversion kit to retrofit existing regional airplanes with a hydrogen-electric powertrain improving both performance and cost.

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European Investment Bank funding for transport and mobility solutions.


This is the recorded session of the first ENTRANCE project webinar in cooperation with the European Investment Bank broadcasted live on June 22nd 2021. The main focus was to provide a vision with EIB experts on funding mechanisms for transport and mobility solution providers accross Europe and how these mechanisms can be applied for deployment projects and scaling up innovative transport and mobility solutions.

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PUCA is strategic partner of the Unmanned Cargo Aircraft Conference


Unmanned Cargo Aircraft (UCA) get more and more attention. UCA offer the potential to transport loads of 1 kg to 10 tons or more over both short and long distances, on routes that are unfeasible or uneconomical for other modes of transport. During the conference, internationally renowned speakers will introduce UCA development projects, potential applications and current deployments.

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Skyports and Kencoa Aerospace announce BVLOS cargo drone project in Korea

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Skyports, an enabler of cargo drone deliveries and advanced air mobility (AAM) infrastructure, and Kencoa Aerospace, a Korea-based global aerospace solution supplier and manufacturer, have announced a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to implement cargo drone deliveries to and on South Korea’s Jeju Island.

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AED delivery drones arrived prior to ambulances in 64%


shows a Swedish Study on Defibrillator Delivery by Drone which was carried out in a clinical trial by the Department of Medicine, Centre for Resuscitation Science, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Early defibrillation is critical for the chance of survival in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Drones, used to deliver automated external defibrillators (AEDs), may shorten time to defibrillation, but this has never been evaluated in real-life emergencies. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of AED delivery by drones in real-life cases of OHCA.

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World’s First 5G and AI-Enabled Drone Platform released by Qualcomm


The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform helps accelerate development for commercial, enterprise, and industrial drones, and unleashes innovative possibilities for industries looking to adopt drone solutions and realize the benefits of the intelligent edge. The Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform, powered by the Qualcomm® QRB5165 processor, builds upon Qualcomm Technologies’ latest IoT offerings, delivering a solution which will drive the next generation of high-performance, low-power, 5G drones.

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PUCA member Elroy Air Raises $40MM Series A financing


Elroy Air, the Aerospace and Logistics company developing the world’s first end-to-end autonomous vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aerial cargo systems, has raised a $40MM Series A financing from Marlinspike Capital, Lockheed Martin Ventures, and Prosperity7 Ventures alongside continued backing from existing investors including Catapult Ventures, DiamondStream Partners, Side X Side Management, Shield Capital Partners and Precursor Ventures. The fresh financing brings Elroy Air’s total investment raised to date to $48MM.

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ANRA shows airspace management and drone delivery software platforms.


ANRA Technologies flew drone delivery demonstrations at Florida Department of Transportation and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise SunTrax facility for SASHTO 2021, showcasing their airspace management and drone delivery software platforms. 

SASHTO is the Southern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. The Association was organized to encourage a balanced transportation system across the southern United States.

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