Medical transport with drones: the Lazio Region and ENAC sign a memorandum of understanding

(To Leonardo)

Drones to transport drugs, plasma, organs and medical devices. Lazio is one of the first Italian regions to start a project of this type thanks to the Memorandum of Understanding signed today between the Region and Enac - National Agency for Civil Aviation, as part of the promotion of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM ). With this technologically advanced system, the services offered by the regional health authorities will be strengthened and improved, which will be able to intervene more promptly and effectively by flexibly exploiting the third dimension, the aerial one. The initiative, which will start in 2023, is part of a larger Advanced Air Mobility project which in the future will also be able to transport people and goods.

 The Protocol, signed this morning by the President of the Lazio Region Nicola Zingaretti and by the President of Enac Pierluigi Di Palma, will have a duration of 3 years and includes several phases that include the study of the regulatory environment, both aeronautical and urban, operational and technical, and the analysis of usable routes and suitable infrastructures to carry out air mobility services in the Lazio region. Thanks to the collaboration with ENAC, solutions will be identified to allow drones to deliver drugs, plasma, organs and medical devices and biomedical samples in case of need.

The Advanced Air Mobility system, declined in this particular kind of transport, will allow the use of the air dimension in an integrated way as an alternative to land mobility, with various advantages that will improve the life conditions of patients and will be able to solve emergency situations. It will also allow a low local environmental impact thanks to the reduction of consumption, noise and emissions.

 On the occasion of the signing of the Protocol which was also attended by Laurent Sissmann, Senior Vice President Unmanned Systems of Leonardo and Ivan Bassato Chief aviation officer of Aeroporti di Roma as technical partners, a experimental area, "sandbox", where an electrically powered drone simulated the urgent transport of biomedical material from the airport to the city center, using an automatic control mode. For some years Leonardo has been engaged in important experiments in the field of advanced air mobility.

Thanks to the "sandbox" of Fiumicino, one of the first in Europe to be located near a large international airport, Leonardo will now be able, in collaboration with Aeroporti di Roma and in coordination with ENAC and ENAV, to test new operational concepts and thus accelerate the technological, regulatory and procedural maturation process while supporting the regulatory evolution, with the aim of moving from experimentation to the supply of essential services to citizens.

AdR is also actively working in this field to design the ground structures - the so-called vertiporti - and facilitate the operational start-up of this type of service in Rome with a challenging timeline to launch the first commercial operations between Fiumicino airport and the city ​​of Rome in 2024.

The Protocol is part of a broader process that ENAC has started with the Regions and metropolitan cities to collect their needs and help develop an ecosystem for the gradual implementation of intelligent air mobility, which is at the service of citizens and of the community. The objective and mission of ENAC are to improve the quality of life of citizens by introducing innovative services that exploit the 'third dimension', the aerial one. The Advanced Air Mobility is, in fact, a technological and operational concept, under development, to allow the transport of people, goods, supplies, medical and to enable new types of services, through the use of particularly innovative and sustainable, mainly with vertical take-off and landing (called VTOL - vertical take off landing), able to be routed in air corridors dedicated to their movements, optimizing travel times, reducing consumption and emissions.