Is the sky the limit? No, the sky is the future. Medical Drone Operator Helicus meticulously prepares unmanned aviation and drone transport for medical purposes in Antwerp and beyond. CEO Mikael Shamim enthusiastically talks about the exciting years to come.
When you walk into Helicus’s office in The Beacon, you know you have entered the age of smart cities. Helicus is more than ready to operate drone transport in Antwerp and other places. The objective is to deliver medical goods around the urban environment in air space. But they are also looking at drone transport of patients to hospitals, for instance, after a car accident. “Our technology is ready; now we are working on a complex integration of processes, legislation, services and more”, says CEO Mikael Shamim. “That’s why we are building an ecosystem with many partners. This collaborative approach is key to making this a success.”
“Our mission is to help and save lives”, says Mikael. “Drone transport will overcome the limitations of traditional ground transport, including traffic congestion and road accidents. We want to replace road transport with air transport, which is much quicker and safer. There’s an enormous space in the air compared to our roads. We know that public social acceptance is essential, although air traffic is safer than road traffic. That’s why we partner up with so many organisations and companies. Transparency is critical in our story. We’re running a marathon, so each step counts.”
Start flying in 2023
The future is near. Helicus has specific targets in place. “When legislation allows us to fly, we will be mission-ready”, says Mikael. “Over the past years, a large series of test missions have been executed, and we will continue to test to validate all complex processes, procedures and technologies. We’re also scalable; we’re not just ready for one flight from one hospital to another. Thanks to the systems we are building, we will be able to operate thousands of flights. Do you want to hear our specific goals? In 2023 we aim to start flying over non-populated areas. In 2024 we will transport people in a drone with a pilot on board. And in 2026, we want to start our commercial operations.”
Space technology is crucial in everything Helicus does. “Of course, we need to closely monitor our drones when flying. Connectivity is critical. Let’s say a hospital asks us to deliver a package of medicines to another hospital. Then we upload the flight plan, which the drone executes. In some cases, a deviation is necessary. We have a system in place which guarantees connectivity, from satellite communication to the use of atomic clocks in space. Our final aim is to jointly provide society with innovative, green and socially beneficial healthcare solutions.”
Helicus wants to reach out to companies that have plans for air traffic. Contact them if you want to know more.