First drone trials transporting medicine and supplies in Angus to begin

11 February 2022, 14:44

Drone in sky
Scotland’s first drone port. Picture: PA

The new transportation method is said to be less expensive for the NHS compared to the current reliance on taxi transportation.

Scotland’s first drone port is set to begin trialling collection and delivery of medical supplies and samples for the NHS in an effort to improve current transportation methods.

Mercury Drone Ports, based in Montrose, Angus, will provide a trials airspace for drones to operate to and from multiple healthcare facilities between Angus and Dundee assisting with the response to Covid-19.

The first drone trials will begin in March, a move which Angus Council leader councillor David Fairweather described as a step in “transforming” the healthcare system for the region.

The new transportation method aims to provide the NHS with an on-demand collection and delivery service, allowing samples to be collected from local medical practices for analysis at pathology laboratories at larger hospitals via a quicker and more reliable service.

Man with drone
Daniel Salamanca, from the flight operations team at Skyports, prepares a drone before flight (Jane Barlow/PA)

Mr Fairweather, said: “This level of improvement could potentially allow life-saving treatment to be able to commence earlier by reducing testing times, speeding up diagnoses for patients, all at a reduced cost to the NHS by reducing the reliance on expensive taxi transportation that currently exists.

“As the significant demands continue for Covid-19 testing, we are delighted to lead the way through innovative technologies to increase connectivity with our rural facilities, at a time that the NHS requires greater support.”

Receiving funding from the UK Government’s £26.5 million Angus Fund, as part of the Tay Cities Region Deal, Mercury Drone Ports is a public-private partnership between Angus Council and UK-based drones company DTLX.

UK Government minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said investment from south of the border into Mercury Drone Ports will put Scotland “at the forefront of innovation” and help bring in new jobs to Angus.

Scotland’s first drone port
Trials will begin next month (Jane Barlow/PA)

He added: “Drones have huge potential in Scotland, from connecting health services to remote communities, to helping maintain renewable energy installations, to assisting with Scottish aquaculture and environmental monitoring.”

Mr Stewart said the UK Government is also supporting the use of drones in the west of Scotland at Oban to improve services in communities across Scotland.

Mercury Drone Ports will be based within the ZeroFour Hub, a 123 acre commercial development site near Montrose which lies within 35 miles of both Aberdeen and Dundee and is run by a partnership between Angus Council and Crown Estate Scotland.

The new hub, along with the drone port, forms part of Angus Council’s long-term plans create renewable solutions for transportation and energy across Angus and the wider Tay Cities region.

By Press Association

More Technology News

See more More Technology News

Glastonbury Festival 2022

Glastonbury 2022 broke data records, EE says

A child using a laptop computer

Pupils ‘AirDrop nudes in maths and use Google Drive to store images’, MPs told

Over 20 million US dollars were raised by the public for drones to fight the Russian invasion

Tech company to gift Bayraktar drones to Ukraine after millions raised by public

A mixed reality holographic patient

UK medical students training on hologram patients in world-first


Warning new internet laws will hand ministers ‘unprecedented’ powers

A battery changing station of Nio brand electrical car (Alamy)

Two dead after Nio electric car they were testing ‘falls from building’

Alexa to expand

Amazon’s Alexa could mimic the voices of dead relatives

Ai-Da at work

Robot painting Glastonbury’s famous faces says festival atmosphere is ‘electric’

Instagram's new age verification tools, which have started being testing in the US

Instagram begins testing new age verification tools

A security surveillance camera is seen near the Microsoft office building in Beijing

Microsoft: Russian cyber spying targets 42 Ukraine allies

Social media apps on a smartphone

Meta removes ‘large numbers’ of upskirting images found on Facebook

Rio Ferdinand poses for photographs with children at 10 Downing Street to celebrate the launch of the Diana Award’s annual anti-bullying campaign Don’t Face It Alone (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Rio Ferdinand calls for new ‘inspiring’ online platform to combat child bullying

A screenshot of the Microsoft Outlook email service

Microsoft’s Outlook email service hit by outage

Elon Musk

Elon Musk’s proposed £35.8bn Twitter deal gets board endorsement

Apple unveils new products

Guide Dogs launches scheme to provide free iPads to children with sight loss

A woman using a laptop

Cloudflare outage knocks hundreds of websites offline