Randy Coker introduced Valerie Khalemska, Senior Account Manager at Drone Delivery Canada, a publicly-traded, disruptive, pioneering, technology company focused on designing, developing and implementing commercially viable, drone-based logistics systems for government, commercial, industrial and retail customers globally.  The company has been instrumental in delivering time critical supplies and life saving initiatives to remote or difficult to reach communities in northern Ontario and other parts of Canada and around the world.  Given the current situation, their organization has the perfect solution to limit person-to-person contact and ensure business continuity, while keeping the supply chain open.  Drone Delivery Canada was founded in 2014 and was the first drone logistics company in Canada to become completely certified by Transport Canada and deemed a "Compliant Operator" for unmanned aircraft.  The service provided by DDC minimizes shipping times while reducing operational and overhead costs.  Their drones, the Sparrow X1000, Robin XL and Condor are powered by proprietary FLYTE software, delivering critical goods autonomously and complying with the local regulatory authorities.
Through the cloud-based flight management software, DDC can manage active flight routes, licenses and no-fly zones.  They can execute emergency flight patterns from a remote location and provide real-time tracking.  Some earlier projects include flights at Moose Cree First Nations to demonstrate drone logistics for parcels, medical tests, repair parts.  In 2018 they partnered with Peel Paramedics to deliver automated defibrillators to heart-attack patients in rural areas faster than ambulances, saving lives.  They have delivered packages to Staples Business Advantage facilities and with the University of Saskatchewan have transported biologicals (blood, organs, medical tests, vaccines) in a safe, secure and temperature-controlled means.
Several commercial agreements have been announced in the past two years:
  • Moose Cree First Nation -- an Indigenous community in Northern Ontario (fly-in access only) that had been using expensive helicopters to transport basic goods such as blood samples, mail, grocery items, pharmaceuticals.  Through DDC with drones that are able to fly day and night, during dangerous shoulder seasons when they cannot drive over the river or take a boat, the results are a better quality of life for many members of the community.
  • Vision Extrusions, a plastic extrusions manufacturer in Vaughan, Ontario are using drones to transport documents, small parts, tools and dyes between their facilities on campus.
  • GlobalMedic/Beausoleil First Nation, an Indigenous community located on an island in Ontario, the main goal of the project is to support them during COVID-19 by keeping the supply chain going and bringing in much needed PPE, medical supplies, etc.  It was the first announced COVID-19 related drone logistics project in Canada and it's a commercial BVLOS operation.
  • Georgina Island First Nation, also an Indigenous community located on an island, DDC is using one of their drones to transport PPE, medical cargo, COVID-19 swabs, test kits, etc. 
Valerie explained the vision of DDC is to solve logistics in isolated regions and lower population density areas.  By qualifying as a BVLOS operator (Beyond Visual Line of Sight), DDC can increase the range of service and utilization of their drones.  Think of drones as the railway in the sky by applying rural and remote applications.  DDC operates a 24/7 control centre in Vaughan, Ontario where operators oversee all drone operations and deliveries.  DDC tackles last-mile logistics with their drone delivery solutions.  There are some limitations currently in place with respect to flying over densely populated areas, in/around airports and flying extensive distances.  There are over 1,000 remote isolated communities in Canada located in harsh conditions.  By using drone services, it enables two way links. 
The following link provides an overview of how the system works.
Kristin Crowe thanked Valerie for delivering a fascinating topic and to show how drone services will improve and save lives around the world.