VITAL medical supplies could soon be delivered to NHS Ayrshire and Arran – via drone.

Last week, a consortium led by AGS Airports in partnership with NHS Scotland to deliver what will be the UK’s first medical distribution network using drones secured £10.1 million in funding from the Future Flight Challenge at UK Research and Innovation


A consortium of 16 partners, including the NHS, are now working to deliver what will be the first national drone network that can transport essential medicines, bloods and other medical supplies throughout Scotland including to remote communities.

Lynne McNiven, Director of Public Health in NHS Ayrshire & Arran added: “We are excited to be part of the innovative CAELUS project looking at what drone technology could offer patients and services across Scotland.

“We have been looking at how Drone technology in Ayrshire and Arran has the ability to enhance the delivery of medical care locally, with the potential of improving patient care and the equity of care between urban and remote rural communities.”

Since securing £1.5 million in January 2020, the CAELUS consortium has designed drone landing stations for NHS sites across Scotland and developed a virtual model (digital twin) of the proposed delivery network.

The second phase of which will involve live flight trials and removing remaining barriers to safely using drones at scale within Scotland’s airspace.