ADAM WILLIAMS SEPTEMBER 16, 2015
Foster + Partners has drawn upon its considerable experience designing airports to conceive a Droneport for Rwanda. Gimmicky-sounding name notwithstanding, the ambitious project could save lives if successful. Working alongside École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, and Afrotech, among others, the aim is for delivery drones to fly out from the hub and travel up to 100 km (62 miles) to take medical and other urgent supplies to where they're needed.
Paved roads and other infrastructure aren't always available in rural areas of Africa, making it very difficult to quickly deliver medical supplies to those who need them most. Foster + Partners, along with its collaborators, aims to overcome this issue with two parallel drone delivery networks, the Red Line and Blue Line.
The Red Line will operate smaller drones for medical and emergency supplies, while the larger-capacity Blue Line drones are planned for electronics and e-commerce, hopefully subsidizing the Red Line network. Though the idea sounds rather blue-sky, we already know that Amazon, Flirtey, GeoPost, Google and others have all been looking into delivery by drone, so perhaps it's possible.
The Droneport will offer the remote aircraft a safe place to take off and land, and serve as a manufacturing center for the drones themselves. It will also include a health clinic, digital fabrication shop, post and courier room, and an e-commerce trading hub. All of which are intended to help generate local employment.
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