Greece testing drone deliveries

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Greece is testing drone delivery of medicines to isolated places in an environmentally friendly way, sending the unmanned aircraft to a 200-person village.

The red drone with four rotor blades took off from north-western city Trikala and flew 3km to Leptokarya. It made two stops, landing outside a pharmacy and in a farmer’s field.

A pharmacy staff member unloaded medicine from a storage compartment on the drone and it took off again.

“Technology can give real solutions to real problems we have. Today we transported medicines to a pharmacy nearby, tomorrow it could be to transport medicines to an emergency,” said Trikala Mayor Dimitris Papastergiou.

The EU-funded programme Harmony aims to use low carbon and less resource intensive solutions for transport.

The drone programme is intended to serve people with mobility issues, isolated villages and homes and sites of emergencies. Officials said the project is crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It concerns situations where immediate help will be needed or isolated people and places,” said Dimitris Anastasiou, president of the Trikala pharmacists’ association.

The Harmony programme, which also has autonomous vehicles, will be tested in six cities in Europe and Britain.