Secure integration of medical air cargo services

Medifly is a programme funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure within the mFund. The overall objective is the safe integration of medical airfreight services using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAS) into urban airspace inside and outside the control zone of a commercial airport. The flights are to be regular and recurring and out of the control area's range of vision. LIHH is concerned with how further logistics services and business models can be developed from the individual usecase in the future.

Project period: September 2020 - September 2022

Funding programme: The project is co-financed by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) as part of the mFund (Modernity Fund) research initiative.

Project budget: just under 1 Mio Euro, of which the BMVI takes over 71%.

Further Information:

In addition to LIHH, the Medifly consortium consists of six other partners:

- Consortium leader: GLVI Society for Air Traffic Informatics mbH

  • Project partners: BWI Ministry of Economics and Innovation of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Flynex GmbH, Hamburg Aviation e.V., Lufthansa Technik AG, ZAL Zentrum für Angewandte Luftfahrtforschung GmbH and LIHH Management GmbH

  • Associated partners: Bundeswehr Hospital, DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, Hospital Pharmacy of the Asklepios Kliniken Hamburg GmbH, Schön Klinik Eilbek, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE, Institute of Pathology)



Medifly is part of the Hamburg Urban Air Mobility activities. The results are intended to provide references for the creation of new standards and regulations at national and, in particular, European level.

After a successful test flight between two hospitals in January 2020, this project focuses on four essential factors:

Firstly, it will examine whether the legal framework and the resulting technical requirements are suitable for the efficient and safe performance of regular flights of unmanned aircraft in urban airspace. The focus is on the new EU regulations 2019/945 and 2019/947 - in particular the risk assessment "Specific Operational Risk Assessment" (SORA) - as well as on the developments in the field of "U-space" and their impact on a later offer of support services for UAS operators. On the one hand, these European framework conditions are to be examined for their technical and operational feasibility. On the other hand, it is to be evaluated whether they can serve as a prerequisite for the scalability of services and thus promote economic growth.

Secondly, an automated regular operation within the control zone is to be established. For this reason, the highest standards will be applied when compiling all requirements for technical and operational security. Since systems already available on the market are to be used as a matter of priority, the question is whether they can meet the high technical requirements.

Thirdly, special emphasis is placed on social acceptance and relevance. This is where the LIHH work package comes in, which deals with the topics of scaling, automation and feasibility. It is assumed that a nationwide use of a medical airfreight service (and possibly other logistics services based on it) can only be implemented if a high level of acceptance can be achieved by the population.

Fourthly, it is being examined how UAS flights can be efficiently integrated into existing hospital processes and whether transport times can be significantly reduced by means of UAS so that significant benefits are created for hospitals and patients.

The project has been completed since 30.06.2023. Project work statuses and results have been published on the official project website.


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