Matador UAS Logistics, LLC dba Valkyrie UAS Solutions™, in partnership with Swoop Aero, Airspace Link, and the Matador UAS Consortium™ announced the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted a Part 107 waiver enabling remote, autonomous beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations along 134-mile corridor from Fort Stockton, Texas to Presidio, Texas to improve rural healthcare access.
“Texas Tech University Health Science Center (TTUHSC) supports over 3 million patients in 112 counties across Texas and the boarding states for Tier 1 Healthcare support. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services classifies 84 of the 112 counties as Medically Underserved requiring patients and caregivers to travel over 250 miles to get access to healthcare services. Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) will provide another vital link to our rural healthcare clinics and tele-health facilities” – Phil Sizer, PT, PhD, FAAOMPT, Associate VP for Research Innovation
The 4-year waiver will provide long-range BVLOS support with the Swoop Aero Kite™ UAS to extend healthcare to rural communities along the approved linear asset corridor by moving lab samples, vaccinations, remote patient monitoring devices, medications, and medical supplies that provide increased healthcare access to medically underserved communities.
“Valkyrie UAS Solutions™ and our partners are committed to improving healthcare access to rural communities across Texas and beyond. We are proud to initiate this UAS Corridor in support of medical transportation by leveraging the March 10, 2022 UAS BVLOS ARC Recommendations. Improving healthcare access and overcoming healthcare inequities in the US is the ideal use case for UAS platforms” – Catherine Self, President Valkyrie UAS Solutions™
The Swoop Aero Kite™ UAS Platform is continuously demonstrating both operational safety and patient impact across Sub-Saharan Africa every day. The Kite™ UAS Platform is Swoop Aero’s 5th generation UAS platform that has vertical take-off and landing capabilities with an operational range of 100 miles on a single charge, carrying up to 9 lbs. at speeds up to 86 miles per hour.
Today the Kite™ flies across Africa, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region. The Swoop Aero platform has delivered over 1.6M items across more than 27,000 flights with aviation approvals in 16 countries.
“Valkyrie UAS Solutions™ and the broader Matador UAS Consortium™ will help Swoop Aero bring our expertise in BVLOS Operations, experience in supporting Rural Healthcare, and UAS exceptional safety record to the United States. We are looking forward to taking this important 1st step towards closing the rural healthcare gap across the United States.”
Supporting safe and scalable UAS Operations for the Matador UAS Consortium™, Airspace Link is a key enabling UTM and risk mitigation partner. Airspace Link has deep expertise working with local communities and UAS operators to analyze ground and air risk for UAS Traffic Management and BVLOS operations; the Esri based software amalgamates over 60 data feeds to include local, authoritative data. Airspace Link’s AirHub® Portal platform offers a robust ground risk data engine to assist in flight planning, as well as other UAS Traffic Management (UTM) applications that will be leveraged during the future BVLOS flight operations. AirHub® Portal is operational in three nations and with numerous state and local governments across the U.S.; Portal also supports an active user base of over 20,000 pilots and hundreds of businesses.
“Airspace Link is thrilled to congratulate the Matador UAS Consortium™, Valkyrie UAS Solutions™, and Swoop Aero on this important and exciting opportunity for advancing rural healthcare in Texas. We are honored to help support medical package delivery and these BVLOS operations with AirHub® Portal by enabling access to weather, ground risk data, local advisory alerts, TFR’s and FAA provided data for the operational areas as well as pre-flight planning and post-flight documentation tools.” – Michael Healander, CEO