Eiger Drone Completes First BVLOS Flights in the US with Upstate Medical University

July 2, 2024

Lausanne, Switzerland. July 2, 2024RigiTech is proud to announce a significant milestone in the United States, after completing the first flight Beyond Visual Line of Sight from the pilot (BVLOS), in partnership with Upstate Medical University’s Air Upstate drone program and Causey Aviation Unmanned, marking a crucial advancement in the transport of time-sensitive medical materials.

Over the last few months, Air Upstate prepared for this milestone by conducting hundreds of flights, and, on May 22, they successfully conducted an inaugural BVLOS flight, utilising RigiTech’s Eiger drone. The flight originated from the Oneida County FAA-Designated New York Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Test Site at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, N.Y., and completed a 30 km round trip to New York’s Homeland Security Training Center in Oriskany, N.Y. The entire mission was accomplished in just 18 minutes and 20 seconds, demonstrating the efficiency and reliability of RigiTech’s drone technology. 

“These flights represent an important step in the international expansion of our Eiger drone platform,” said Adam Klaptocz, RigiTech’s CEO. “The ability to fly BVLOS in the US is the key to rolling out long-range drone delivery services on the continent which will become one of the biggest markets in the sector in the coming years.”

This landmark flight, supported by partners AX Enterprize, Oneida County UAS Test Site, Causey Aviation Unmanned, and Crown Consulting, showcases the potential application of drone delivery solutions to bring real innovation to medical logistics. By providing a dependable on-demand transport solution, RigiTech’s partners can enable the swift, safe, and efficient movement of critical materials, including drugs, blood products, and lab samples.

“We are immensely proud to be part of this groundbreaking achievement,” said Mark Zeman, Upstate’s Chief Information Officer. “The dedication and innovation brought by RigiTech and our partners have been pivotal in reaching this milestone, which is set to transform healthcare delivery for our most vulnerable patients.”

The successful BVLOS flight addresses the logistical challenges posed by the size and rural nature of the regions served by Upstate. This technology will enhance the patient experience, ensuring timely and quality care across widespread communities.

Jeff Causey, CEO of Causey Aviation Unmanned, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “We are excited to collaborate with Upstate and appreciate their commitment to innovation in healthcare. This BVLOS flight represents a significant step forward in serving patients in new and effective ways.”

This achievement is a testament to the collaborative efforts of RigiTech, Air Upstate, and their partners in pushing the boundaries of drone technology. As we work with the FAA to build a robust safety case for daily BVLOS operations, we are paving the way for broader adoption of healthcare drone deliveries. 

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. remarked, “This accomplishment sets the stage for everyday healthcare drone deliveries, particularly benefiting clinics and underserved communities. Upstate Medical University’s Air Upstate program is leading the charge in advancing the capabilities of the drone delivery industry.”

About RigiTech
RigiTech is a Swiss manufacturer of drone logistics solutions founded in 2018 that focuses on creating fully-integrated drone delivery systems. Its drones are designed with a network-first mentality, the key to scaling drone delivery into a sustainable business model. The centralised RigiCloud software infrastructure ensures reliable, compliant communications, flight tracking and fleet maintenance management. RigiTech’s drone systems have been approved for and flown BVLOS operations on 5 continents, delivering essential goods in their home base in Switzerland, across Europe, Asia, Oceania, North and South America, with a focus on healthcare, offshore and postal markets. 

Media contact: marketing@rigi.tech

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