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Skyports Partners with Robotic Skies to develop a UAS maintenance programme for drone delivery and beyond

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Skyports Partners with Robotic Skies to develop a UAS maintenance programme for drone delivery and beyond. Image: Skyports
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Drone delivery service provider Skyports announced its partnership with Robotic Skies, the global maintenance, repair, and overhaul network for commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

Skyports specialises in operating end-to-end drone deliveries within the medical, e-commerce, and logistics sectors. The company is conducting medical drone deliveries to assist the NHS in Scotland in the battle against COVID-19.  In addition, as a participant in the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) Regulatory Sandbox, Skyports is working to advance regulatory approvals that foster more beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations and the safe integration of these flights into non-segregated airspace – key to realising a permanent drone delivery service.

Duncan Walker, CEO of Skyports, said: “Certified maintenance is vital to enable full-scale, permanent commercial drone delivery operations. With Robotic Skies, our fleet of UAV systems will be maintained to the same safety standards as traditional certified aircraft. This partnership allows us to further demonstrate our commitment to the safe operation and integration of delivery drones alongside other users of the airspace and supports our plans to grow our service network internationally.”

Robotic Skies, through partnerships with companies like Skyports, provides enterprise UAS and drone delivery fleet operators with local field maintenance services. The company’s proprietary system combines expertise in unmanned aircraft systems and traditional aviation maintenance methodology to deliver high-quality, scalable services. The Robotic Skies Service Center network is comprised of over 200 independently owned and operated certified repair stations, spanning more than 40 countries.

Robotic Skies Founder and CEO, Brad Hayden, said: “We are excited to partner with Skyports as they pursue the expansion of drone delivery and other BVLOS flight operations in the UK and beyond. Our global Service Center Network puts high-quality support services where Skyports customers need it. Because we are leveraging the existing manned aviation infrastructure, we offer the highest quality, safety, and consistency in our programs to satisfy operators, regulators, and manufacturers.”

Maintenance standards provide an essential framework for the safety and ongoing airworthiness of certified UAS as they evolve to transport heavier payloads, fly longer distances, and carry people within and between urban environments.

Skyports will also work with Robotic Skies to develop maintenance programmes and facilities for the emerging Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) industry. Skyports designs, builds, and operates networks of vertiports to enable safe and efficient passenger air taxi and cargo drone operations in the world’s major cities.

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Air Freight

JAL and Matternet to launch drone delivery business partnership in Japan

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JAL and Matternet to launch drone delivery business partnership in Japan. Image: JAL
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Matternet M2 drone system to be deployed in Tokyo’s new drone logistics project and utilized to assess drone delivery healthcare opportunities in Japan

Japan Airlines and Matternet signed an MOU to assess drone delivery healthcare opportunities and develop a future drone healthcare delivery business in Japan utilizing Matternet’s world-leading M2 urban drone logistics platform.

Due to the lack of delivery personnel and the impact of the global pandemic, the necessity to respond to changes in the logistics industry has become more urgent than ever before and the use of drones may help realize automatic, contactless delivery services on remote islands, mountainous areas and even within the city.

Since last year, JAL has been conducting demonstrations on transporting relief supplies through various trials within Japan. Currently, in order to develop logistics services using drones, JAL is studying the feasibility for the commercialization of such services with various companies and hospitals. Through this partnership, Matternet will conduct a joint research project with JAL in Japan, as the company continues to expand its commercial business globally. Further, JAL will consider to deploy the Matternet M2 drone system in the drone logistics business development project of Tokyo to possibly develop a sustainable business model.

Matternet is the leading developer of on-demand, autonomous, urban drone logistics systems for transporting medical items across distributed healthcare networks, providing its technology platform-as-a-service to healthcare and logistics organizations. Matternet has launched successful drone networks around the world and received regulatory approval from the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation and U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to conduct fully-autonomous Beyond Line of Sight operations and Flights Over People to transport critical, high-value medical items. To date, Matternet technology has enabled 10,000+ commercial revenue drone flights.

“We are very excited to expand our operations to Asia and partner with JAL to show the incredible impact of drone delivery to Japan’s cities, starting with the Tokyo metropolitan area,” said Andreas Raptopoulos, CEO of Matternet. “Matternet’s drone delivery platform enables extremely fast and predictable transport of urgent items and stands to revolutionize how healthcare and e-commerce are delivered in cities and megacities around the world.”

“Japan Airlines is eager to explore the future of its air logistics business with the implementation of drone delivery,” said Tomohiro Nishihata, Japan Airlines’ Managing Executive Officer of Innovation. “We aim to contribute to improving healthcare and solving logistics issues through our partnership with Matternet.”

JAL aims to develop a new type of service in the air transportation industry, utilizing new UAV technology, by delivering the operational platform in New Air mobility and achieve key sustainable development goals.

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Air Freight

DHL Global Forwarding connects three continents with dedicated flight

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DHL Global Forwarding connects three continents with dedicated flight. Image: DHL
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DHL Global Forwarding, the freight forwarding specialist of Deutsche Post DHL Group, has launched an air freight charter connecting Asia Pacific to Europe and the U.S. to meet demand from customers in the technology, manufacturing and life science and healthcare sectors. Managed by StarBroker, DHL Global Forwarding’s in-house charter team, the twice-weekly charter originates from Chongqing, China and flies to Amsterdam, Netherlands; Chicago, United States; Incheon, South Korea before returning to China.

Thomas Mack, Head of Global Air Freight DHL Global Forwarding said, “While some passenger airlines have resumed operations, the situation in the air freight market remains volatile — especially as belly capacity is still tight As the leader in the air freight market, DHL Global Forwarding’s top priority is to provide our customers with sufficient and reliable air freight capacity. Not only are the resilient, agile and reliable supply chains of highest importance for an economic recovery, but also in preparation for the availability of vaccines and other essential medical supplies during the pandemic.”

South Korea has seen its export of healthcare products rise year-on-year by 26.7% in the first half of 2020, with pharmaceutical goods in particular increasing by 52.5%. China has exported 28.5% more medical devices in the first five months of the year as compared to a year ago. In 2019, China, the Netherlands and the United States were among the top ten importers and exporters of medical goods.

“Over the years, DHL has built up its expertise from globally certified facilities and staff to technologies that track shipments in real-time in addition to ensuring the integrity of such products throughout their journey. Getting the much-needed air capacity is the last piece in the value chain puzzle, so to speak, that ensures temperature sensitive products such as life-saving vaccines reach the communities-in-need,” added Mack.

In a recently published white paper DHL together with McKinsey & Company as analytics partner explores the logistics challenges for vaccines and medical goods during COVID-19. To provide global coverage of COVID-19 vaccines, up to ~200,000 pallet shipments and ~15 million deliveries in cooling boxes as well as ~15,000 flights will be required across the various supply chain set-ups.

DHL Global Forwarding has a global network of facilities that meet the European Union’s Good Distribution Practice (GDP) guidelines for life science and healthcare supply chains. The leading international provider of air, sea and road freight services has a suite of temperature-controlled freight solutions such as DHL Air Thermonet and DHL LifeConEx that allows real-time visibility and active monitoring for the movement of goods that could include medicines, supplements, vaccines, medical devices and diagnostic equipment.

To meet growing demand for imports of temperature-controlled and high-technology goods into Australia, DHL Global Forwarding will also launch a new airfreight charter on September 23. Flying four times a week, the charter will consolidate goods from Europe, China and Singapore in Hong Kong before transporting them to Sydney, Australia.

In April 2020, DHL Global Forwarding tapped on its network of life science and healthcare facilities, temperature-controlled solutions and customs clearance expertise to fly more than 1.3 million Covid-19 test kits from South Korea to Brazil, Ecuador, India, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Saudi Arabia. The freight forwarder also launched a dedicated 100-ton weekly air freight service for organizations and governments shipping health and medical-related items and other goods from China to Middle East and Africa.

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Air Freight

From prescription drugs to vaccines, Delta Cargo has the pharmaceutical shipment service for you

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From prescription drugs to vaccines, Delta Cargo has the pharmaceutical shipment service for you. Image: Delta Cargo
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Delta Cargo was the first U.S. passenger carrier to receive IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Pharma Logistics Certification in 2017. This certification recognizes that we are compliant, in our Atlanta warehouse and at over 50 specialized Pharma approved airports across the globe provided through our handling partners, with the highest industry standards for the shipment of pharmaceuticals, vaccines and life sciences.

We know that the difference in a few degrees can save lives when it comes to delivering temperature-sensitive shipments. As part of this, we have expanded our cooler facilities at the Atlanta warehouse. Our priority boarding and quick connection times also minimize exposure to outside temperatures ensuring the integrity of the product. We offer four tailored options which come with a variety of containers and coolers designed to meet specific temperature requirements. Plus, we can transport Pharma shipments containing dry ice to support the transportation of vaccines.

As our current flight network is reduced due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, our cargo charters team can assist with any pharmaceutical transportation needs if they are outside of our existing network, ensuring peace of mind for our customers.

“Pharmaceutical and medical supplies are in high demand and we historically transport more than 5,500 pharma shipments each year, in fact it is in the top three most shipped commodities,” said Shawn Cole, Vice President-Cargo. “The safe and efficient transportation of Pharma products for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry is a key priority for us. We continue to invest in our facilities, equipment, operations and staff to ensure that we comply with all applicable standards, regulations and guidelines expected from pharmaceutical manufacturers.”

From drug research and development, to transporting vital medicine to patients who rely on us to maintain product integrity, Delta Cargo is making a difference to the communities we serve. Our partner airlines also have Pharma certification which provides significant opportunities for shipping pharmaceuticals across the Pacific and Atlantic. Air France-KLM Cargo and Korean Air Cargo are both CEIV certified, while Virgin Atlantic Cargo has Wholesale Distribution Authorization (WDA) enabling true end-to-end compliance and assurance for customers across a broad network of flights across the globe.

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