Drones between hospitals, TDA

Hadn’t heard of a TDA before, temporary danger area. Planning routes between the hospitals in Lancaster, Kendal & Barrow to carry pathology samples.


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seems like there testing a more effiect way tto gett them between hospitals etc and be around 90 days tthe testt so by end of Octtober :slight_smile: butt seems like tthey know off Hobby drones etc in tthe area too so making them aware is good news inn sense :slight_smile:

Positive use but that goes beyond VLOS :joy:

I actually think this is probably the most sensible use of drones I’ve seen to date that could become quite feasible

I wonder if the tests and final use would mean restrictions to accessing the Crown Estate foreshore and estuaries during operation. 40 knots at sub 400 ft may not give a lot of time for them to be noticed by recreational flyers if they appear in a dull sky.

This brings me to a question of NOTAM,s How fast are they at being implemented and distributed and if anyone was to post for recreational flying in the area would it block any hospital use? I could only see it becoming a Flight restricted zone.

It sounds like it could save money for the trust depending on how much the company charges for it’s services, but if we are talking medicines and records and samples moving from one hospital to another I tend to think existing courier services that are used can carry a lot more in bulk. There is also a network of Motorcyclists that do voluntary work for Hospitals etc as in Blood bikes.

The major down side would be a loss of the drone over water for what ever reason is loss of samples/records etc. Yes the same could be said for vehicle movement but not as news worthy as if downed or flights blocked by a recreational drone user.

Sarcastically yours


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I shall feed back anything I find out, I work at Lancaster hospital.


The flaw I can see in the system is that drones are not very good at tolerating the extremes of wind or rain that are uncomfortable by motorbike and feasible by car. The service cannot be guaranteed 24/7.

As an aside - I drove a taxi for a while and our firm were tasked with taking samples from a local holiday camp to a Portsmouth hospital during an outbreak of food poisoning. Several successful runs were made until one of the drivers collected a batch of samples and decided to wait for someone who wanted to get to Portsmouth - one trip. two fares.

It was a hot day, the interior of the boot heated up and many of the tops of the sample tubes popped open …

Thanks for highlighting this - I hadn’t heard about it and I live very close to that flight path. I’ve left a comment on the site. I think they need to engage locally with people as recently there has been an increase in people flying FPV drones - some very irresponsibly. I can see an accident waiting to happen.
It’s a shame the much needed bridge across the bay from Morecambe to Barrow was never built.
Trialling this in October will be interesting as the weather here is very unpredictable at the best of times.
I hope it works for them, but I also hope they do more to engage with drone users in the area as I’m sure others will be like me and only seen this by chance.


Thanks for posting this. How reliable it will be remains to be seen.
The weather has always been what I considered to be the elephant in the room when it comes to making drone deliveries commercially viable in the UK.
The flight paths are close to me. And right over one of my favourite practice areas, but this wouldn’t affect my flights that much.


With the volume of military aircraft in the area, hobby / tourist fliers & the weather that the Bay gets it’s going to be a challenge & I wonder how many 24hr notice NOTAMS will be cancelled because of weather?
At least they’ll carry ADS-B / Mode S Transponders & I can see that as the way forward for all drones ensuring manned aircraft separation. Maybe not the sub 250’s mind which throws in another huge hazard as we’re starting to realise just how many of the ‘new to drone ownership’ users are clueless about the rules, safety & NOTAMS.

Just my thoughts.


Our Trust has sites across Lancashire & Cumbria, very widespread and this is the latest news about their Pathology deliveries.

Own dedicated airspace 250 ft AGL :thinking::thinking::thinking: they will run the trial in summer to get good results and massage the figures then come winter there will be no flights due to bad weather.
They will end up having the contract with the drone company to honour because they accepted the massaged figures, and still have to pay for a fleet of vans and drivers to fullfill the requirements.
Seen this happen hundreds of times with government contracts across all sectors. This will just be another to brush under the carpet wasting vital funds on a vanity project. If things were that time critical they would have been flying them by helli before now and they are not.

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I have no doubts that this will eventually be classed as “successful” and would hazard a guess at a proliferation of FRZs for high traffic routes.

The NHS is supprted by the totally free services of the National Association of Blood Bikes (NABB).
Blood, samples, Tests, small equipment and even the transport of health care professionals (in a Blood Car!) is undertaken.
NABB makes no charge for its services and is staffed 100% by volunteers who offer the service from 19:00hrs to 07:00hrs 7 days a week. Dont really see the need for Tusts to invest in expensive equipment when there is a brilliant service already in place?.. see https://www.bloodbikes.org.uk/ for more info.

I get where you’re coming from but these have been chosen because of the locations the Trust covers.

Morecambe Bay Trust has hospitals in Lancaster, Kendal and Barrow-in-Furness. Lancaster to Barrow, straight line 15 miles. Driving, 46 miles just under an hour.

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I understand the straightline senario and I’m sure there may well be advantages in some cases. All blood bike vehicles have blue lights fitted and are ridden/driven by highly trained riders and drivers. The stuff gets delivered in double quick time! Only commenting as I dont want to see taxpayers money being used for something that is already well covered.

There is also the eco impact to think of

The whole carbon neural (bollocks) is such a big part of business planning at the moment


And as said before due to weather constraints in Morecambe bay both services will have to run, so no money saved, very little carbon saved. Just the occasional time saving.

It’s a limited time project to see if it works, let’s wait for the outcome.

No i fully get that, but let the trial run cover all aspects of the bays weather not just the nice summer months. Otherwise it will be a biased result, costing the tax payers millions.