Drone delivery competition is heating up in Europe as the promise of BVLOS flights across the EU draws ever closer and one manufacturer who has placed a marker down is Swiss-based Rigitech, reports a press release.

The company has achieved the accolade of becoming the first operator to be given Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) in France. Starting with its first approved route linking Bourgoin-Jallieu to Tignieu-Jameyzieu, RigiTech has begun daily flights between two laboratories, using its long-range drone, the Eiger. The labs are part of France’s largest laboratory group, Biogroup.

The release states, “Specifically designed to ensure cold-chain transportation of blood and biological samples, RigiTech’s Eiger drone has a large payload bay that allows for efficient, long-distance flights, making the most of this sustainable delivery solution,” It continues, “This newly implemented technology can carry a payload of up to 3 kg, and medical boxes with up to 150 pre-conditioned blood vials.”

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David Rovira, Chief Business Officer and co-Founder of RigiTech, commented, “We are extremely proud to announce we’ve achieved a major milestone in France, as the first drone delivery company able to start a daily BVLOS delivery service. The future of medical logistics is here and we’re leading the way.”

The two French laboratories are located 26 km apart and the Eiger drone takes just 15 minutes flight time, reducing delivery by 50 percent, as this route usually takes 30 minutes or more by car. This innovation enables faster diagnosis, resulting in rapid access of treatment to patients.

David Rovira

RigiTech is pioneering other aerial logistics networks across Europe. Last October, the company performed drone deliveries across Lake Geneva between two other laboratories. The journey took just 10 minutes. Road transportation requires driving around the lake and can take up to 90 minutes.

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(Images: Rigitech)