Delivery drone infrastructure – Japan

Written by Drone

In rural areas in particular, which are difficult to reach or take a lot of time on traditional (land) routes, drones can provide valuable services in supplying the population with urgently needed goods. The unmanned systems of the Hessian company Wingcopter have gained a high reputation worldwide in this regard. Even in the land of the rising sun. In a partnership with ANA Holdings, the development of a delivery drone infrastructure in Japan is to be accelerated in the future. Will add more value in business.

The collaboration between ANA Holdings and Wingcopter is not entirely new. Since 2016, the parent company of the largest Japanese airline, All Nippon Airways, has been working on creating a delivery drone infrastructure in Japan in order to offer commercial drone delivery services by 2022. These have been tested in Japan since 2018, and the first flights with Wingcopter drones took place in 2019. Current tests in March 2021 have once again proven the performance of the Wingcopter under individual flight conditions in rural Japan. With monitored flights between Fukuejima and Hisakajima in Goto City in Nagasaki Prefecture, the transport of medical goods was demonstrated, and patient waiting times were drastically reduced. In this remote region of Japan, the existing infrastructure makes it difficult to transport medical supplies quickly. This is a major concern for health officials and health professionals who need to respond quickly in situations where time is a key factor in treatment.

“The ongoing tests with Wingcopter are a significant step towards a functioning drone transport network,” said Tetsuya Kubo, Vice President of ANA Holdings and responsible for the Group’s Digital Design Lab. “We are excited to be working with Wingcopter and building on the advances and innovations of previous attempts to take another step towards drone deliveries. A fully implemented and functioning drone transport infrastructure will help improve the quality of life in rural areas across Japan. ” In the partnership that has now been established, both sides can build on the experience of their respective development work and thus bring together the strengths of both sides.

ANA Holdings, for example, brings its decades of experience with flight conditions in Japan and local aviation regulations to the joint work. Wingcopter, on the other hand, not only provides the tilt-rotor VTOL drone but also supports those involved on-site with the training of pilots, flight route and deployment planning, and the maintenance of the aircraft. “Helping a global company like ANA develop new business opportunities while pursuing our mission to save and improve lives is what we work tirelessly for,” said Tom Plümmer, CEO of Wingcopter. “We are very much looking forward to the next steps and partnering with ANA in Japan and beyond.” 

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