The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the use of a drone to deliver medicine in rural Virginia. The approval came on Friday as the officials aim at changing the people’s perception of a drone to be either a toy or a weapon.
A special FAA permit has been given to NASA and therefore, the demonstration was made possible, according to The Wall Street Journal. The deputy director of NASA Langley’s Research Services, Frank Jones expressed that they have been trying not only to develop the technology, but also to instill trust among people about the technology.
A statement was given by the agency, according to which NASA’s original plan called for the drone to make six round trips carrying a weight of 10 pounds in each trip. However, after the drone made two successful trips, the medicines were sent through a flight and not the drone.
Flirtey has just completed the first FAA approved drone delivery in the U.S. – a Kitty Hawk moment in Wise Virginia
— Flirtey (@Fly_Flirtey) July 17, 2015
The drugs that have been transported to rural Virginia include the prescription medication ordered by the doctors for the Remote Art Clinic, which located in Wise County, Virginia. Around 3,000 patients are taken by the clinic in favor of the annual weekend event. Medical, dental and eye care are provided by the clinic to a substantial number of people in the region.
Flirtey’s drones will come in handy for medicine distribution as it saves the waiting time of residents to get their prescriptions which originally come from a pharmacy in Oakwood, according to the officials.
The Director of the clinic, Teresa Gardner confirmed that the drone deliveries will be of benefit to more than 30 patients in this year’s annual event.
US Sen. Mark R Warner stated, “These flights highlight the humanitarian possibilities of this technology, and I’m looking forward to additional successes that will position Virginia as a leader in this burgeoning field”.