Scotland’s first drone port, Mercury Drone Ports, will begin working with the NHS for their first beyond visual line of sight drone trials next month.
Establishing Angus as a centre of excellence for the development of drone technologies in Scotland, Mercury Drone Ports will provide a trials airspace area to support drone companies and end users conduct onshore and offshore drone flight trials.
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 DTLX, supported by a number of local and national businesses.
The first drone flight trials, beginning in March, will transport medical equipment, samples and medicine via an unmanned aircraft to and from multiple healthcare facilities between Angus and Dundee assisting with the response to COVID-19.
The new environmentally friendly and efficient mode of transportation will 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 quicker and more reliably than current transport alternatives.
Mercury Drone Ports will be based in Montrose within clean growth enterprise hub, ZeroFour, a partnership between Angus Council and Crown Estate Scotland, which currently has planning permission in principle for a mixed-use business park. The new hub along with the drone port, forms part of Angus Council’s long-term plans to drive sustainable development, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency and create renewable solutions for transportation and energy across Angus and the wider Tay Cities region.