NHS drone delivery trial to land and take off at ZeroFour
Drones based at ZeroFour, the new 123-acre business hub being delivered in Montrose by Crown Estate Scotland, will take to the skies next month as they begin three months of trials in association with Angus Council and NHS Tayside
Operated by Mercury Drone Ports, Scotland’s first drone port., the Beyond Visual Line of Sight trials will transport medical equipment, samples, and medicine via an unmanned aircraft to and from multiple healthcare facilities around Dundee and Angus.
The drone delivery service will allow vital samples to be collected from local medical practices for analysis at pathology laboratories at larger hospitals quicker and more reliably than current transport alternatives.
There will likely be a maximum of two flights per day from Mondays to Fridays beginning from mid to late October this year. During these times, public access to certain areas of ZeroFour, in the vicinity of the drone port may be restricted.
Mercury Drone Ports is the first business to locate at the business hub. Alongside industry, fabrication and start-up space, Crown Estate Scotland embraces Angus Council’s drive to greater regional diversity of enterprise by supporting R&D and technology firms – and Mercury Drone Ports is a prime example of the type of business it hopes to attract.
Plans to develop ZeroFour include aspirations for industry-leading energy infrastructure and community-lead placemaking, supported by a part-funding partnership with Angus Council, which will create a modern, attractive and environmentally sound foothold for clean enterprise seeking new space.
The drone trials will not be the first time flights have taken off from the location. ZeroFour, sits on part of the former RAF airfield at Montrose which was operational during the first and second world wars playing a vital role in national flight training and defence. Established in 1913 as the first operational military airfield in the UK, it was strategically located to protect Royal Navy bases at Rosyth, Cromarty and Skapa Flow.
ZeroFour takes its name from the original runway call sign, which was 04 22, the name chosen as a link to that history and reminder that then, as how, it is a place for pushing boundaries.