AiRMOUR Challenge Creates City Programs That Use Drones For Medical Emergencies

Helsinki, Finland is participating in AiRMOUR  – a European Union (EU)-funded challenge to assist cities in creating programs to use drones for medical emergencies. The goal of the challenge is to define what actions must be taken by various stakeholders – including municipalities, operators, regulators, academia, and companies – to enable drone usage.

The challenge – which may run until December 2023 – focuses on emergency medical companies and the use of electrical vertical take-off and touchdown (eVTOL) machines to fly medical personnel to emergency sites, in addition to smaller drones to ship medical tools. The Technical Analysis Centre of Finland (VTT) is leading the project, and will run real-life demonstrations in three areas: Stavanger, Norway; Helsinki, Finland; and Nord-Hessen, Germany. Simulations will be run in Luxembourg.

Virium Helsinki – the City of Helsinki’s innovation unit – is playing a major role in the project due to its experience in running pilots and simulations to test potential technological solutions in real-life situations. 

“Managing routes is of great concern. The more drones you have within the air, the greater possibility you have of conflicts. You will want administration of air site visitors and also of touchdown sites – together with sites for emergency landings,” said Renske Martijnse-Hartikka, senior project manager for good and autonomous mobility at Discussion board Virium Helsinki. “Another concern is public acceptance. How much do residents understand about drones, particularly their security? Noise and visible air pollution need to be considered. Cities may need to impose limits, in order that drones can fly solely in secure areas or at secure times of day. We’re additionally exploring cyber safety and privacy.”

At the end of the challenge, the AiRMOUR project expects to create: an Urban Air Mobility (UAM) guidebook for cities, operators and other stakeholders; a UAM GIS tool for urban planners; and UAM Training programs and masterclasses.