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Swiss Post to resume drone flights for medical services after accident

Christian Fernsby |
Swiss Post said it is to restart drone flights for healthcare services, which were grounded after an accident involving a drone on Lake Zurich in January.

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The drone, carrying a blood sample, malfunctioned during a test phase of a medical deliveries program, Swiss Post said in a statement.

The decision was made after the Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board announced that the cause of the controlled emergency landing had been determined.

"A short circuit led to the incident," said the board. Swiss Post was able to "initiate a controlled emergency landing" and landed on Lake Zurich, said the statement.

Nobody was hurt, and the city of Zurich police later recovered the drone.

"Swiss Post is a pioneer in Switzerland for autonomous and commercial drones," said the statement, noting that, "Safety is the top priority for all involved."

The drones have so far completed over 3,000 flights for healthcare services in Lugano, Ber and Zurich.

Separately on Friday, Swiss air rescue service Rega announced that it had developed a special drone that can search for missing people across large areas, the Swiss news agency Keystone-SDA reported.

It quoted Rega as saying it is equipped with various sensors, such as a thermal camera.

The drone will be used in addition to conventional rescue methods and, for example, be used in cases where the helicopter is grounded due to poor visibility, Rega said.

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