FAA approves use of Drone to Deliver Medicine in Rural Virginia: FAA
FAA approves use of Drone to Deliver Medicine in Rural Virginia: FAA

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Friday gave approval for the use of a drone to deliver medicine in rural Virginia. Officials hope the move will help change perceptions that the drone is either a toy or a weapon.

The WallStreet Journal reported that the demonstration was made possible because of the special FAA permit given to NASA. Frank Jones, deputy director of NASA Langley's Research Services Directorate, said in an explanation that they have been trying hard not only to develop the technology, but to develop the public's trust in the technology.

The agency said in a statement that NASA's original plan was for the drone to make six round trips with a load of 10 pounds per trip. But after two successful trips, they opted to send the remaining medicines on flight.

The transported drugs included the prescription medication ordered by doctors for the yearly Remote Art Clinic, a medical facility in Wise County, Virginia.

The clinic takes in 3,000 patients for the annual weekend event. The clinic typically provides medical, dental and eye care to thousands in this coal mining region.

The drone hopes to cut the waiting time of residents to fill in their prescriptions which come from a pharmacy in Oakwood, said officials.

Teresa Gardner, director of the clinic, said in a statement that the drone deliveries are expected to benefit more than 30 patients for this year's event.

US Sen. Mark R. Warner said, “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”.

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