Over 100 international submissions were whittled down to just 16 innovative, responsible and impactful winning projects made possible with drones. Announced during the first-ever Airwards Winners’ Week (24-28 May 2021), winners were judged and decided upon by 26 global judges. The list of Airwards 20/21 Winners is available on the Airwards website.
The winners include pioneering companies from the UK, the US, Madagascar, South Africa, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Ireland and Switzerland. The 16 award categories span a number of uses and sectors, including ‘Industries / Fields’, ‘Giving Back’, ‘Technology’, ‘Operations’ and ‘Supporting Services’.
Winners include delivery of essential medicines
In the Airwards ‘Industry / Field’ group, three drone projects each won an award for ‘Agriculture’, ‘Defence, Security and Surveillance’ and ‘Medical and Healthcare’. These include the delivery of essential medicines, contraceptives, and vaccines in remote areas of Northern Madagascar.
In the Airwards ‘Giving Back’ group, four winners were awarded for ‘Conservation and Environment’, ‘Education and Research’, ‘Emergency Response and SAR’, and ‘Public Safety’. These include a hydrogen drone system that speeds up the process of finding missing people out at sea.
In the Airwards ‘Operations’ group, three drone projects took the crown in the ‘Airspace Management’, ‘Delivery’ and ‘Survey and Inspection’ categories. Those recognised include the testing and development of technologies to enable flying drones beyond visual line of sight in non-segregated airspace; the delivery of cold chain medicines to improve access to healthcare; and the use of drones indoors to undertake industrial inspections.
In the Airwards ‘Supporting Services’ group, two drone use cases were awarded for ‘Consultancy’ and ‘Training and Certification’. These included an operational safety case for urban flying of Covid-19 samples, supplies and organ transportation for transplant patients for the NHS.
Elevating companies using drones to push boundaries
Richard Nichols, Airwards Founder, said: “All of the companies and individuals recognized by our awards program reflect the most innovative, responsible and impactful examples of drone use at this current time. From wildlife conservation and medical deliveries to threat detections and industrial inspections, the breadth of outstanding drone work truly demonstrates the positive way this technology is having an impact. I believe this is a pivotal moment for the drone industry, and through Airwards we are aiming to elevate companies using drones, as they continue to push boundaries, transform industries and improve the world we live in.”