NCDOT wants to use drones to deliver medical supplies

RALEIGH, N.C. - It may not be long before you look up and see a drone carrying a life-saving blood supply to a local hospital.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is proposing to bring unmanned medical supply delivery to the Tar Heel State.

NCDOT recently submitted a proposal to the Federal Aviation Administration's Drone Integration Pilot Program, which aims to find new, safe ways to integrate the use of drones.

With drones, NCDOT believes blood and other supplies currently delivered to hospitals on the ground would reach their destinations much quicker.

“We’re really excited that drone technology may allow doctors and hospitals to save more lives in North Carolina soon,” said N.C. Director of Aviation Bobby Walston. “We’ve been researching and investing in drone technology for years at NCDOT.  This proposal represents the next big step for us as we remain a national leader in the UAS field.”

NCDOT is currently working with drone delivery companies, like Matternet and Zipline on setting up distribution centers that would make the deliveries possible.

The state should know by May if the FAA has accepted its proposal.