Two First Nation communities to receive coronavirus supplies via drone drop

Aug 16 2020, 8:42 pm

Two Ontario First Nation communities will be receiving COVID-19 supples through drone delivery.

Slated to start later in the year, Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) will be running supplies to the Beausoleil First Nation and the Georgina Island First Nation using its Sparrow drone and unique landing sites.

The goal is to limit person-to-person contact and the drones will be carrying coronavirus related cargo such as personal protection equipment (PPE), hygiene kits, test kits, test swabs, and more to both communities.

All operations will be conducted in accordance with the Canadian Aviation Regulations and Transport Canada flight authorizations, the company said in a release. The flights will be monitored remotely by DDC from a control centre in Vaughan, Ontario.

The deal with the Georgina Island First Nation is being funded through Indigenous Services Canada, according to a release, and the company says ISC is looking at this project to provide a “Proof of Concept” for future consideration of the use of drone delivery during the pandemic.

“Drone delivery is an innovative solution and we look forward to seeing the benefits for our community,” said Councilor William McCue of the Georgina Island First Nation in the release. “We are thankful to Indigenous Services Canada for funding this project.”

The project with the Beausoleil First Nation (BFN) is being funded by donors through the emergency response organization GlobalMedic and the OEC Group. BFN is currently closed to visitors due to concerns over the coronavirus.

“The Beausoleil First Nation community will benefit from our drone delivery solution during the COVID-19 pandemic by limiting person-to-person contact between the mainland and Christian Island, while keeping their supply chain open,” said Michael Zahra, president and CEO of DDC, in a previous release. “Our solution is ideal for this application and we look forward to seeing the benefits for the Community.”

“To our knowledge, this is the first announced COVID-19 related drone logistics project working with a humanitarian aid agency in Canada.”

DDC says it will begin deploying infrastructure for the drones on site soon and both communities have agreed to a six month term.

Peter SmithPeter Smith

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