SANBS takes blood delivery to the sky

The National Blood Service enlists the help of drones to deliver blood to remote areas.

JOHANNESBURG - Medical technology is taking blood delivery to the skies.

The South African National and Western Cape Blood Services are joining forces in this pilot project.

READ: SANBS experiencing blood supply shortages

The aim is for much-needed blood to speedily reach even the furthest corners of the country.

The drone can be loaded with four units of blood at a time and be steered remotely by a drone pilot.

It travels at up to 160km/h but its optimal cruising speed is 65km/h.

READ: SANBS seeks injection of new blood

Beyond the logistical help the drones will provide, there's a hope this may encourage many more people to donate blood as well.

The delivery service hasn't taken off just yet, as the administrative task of licensing and getting air passage approval from the Civil Aviation Authority is still underway.