The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), the nonprofit association representing and uniting all parts of the air cargo industry (e.g., shippers, forwarders, ground handlers, airports, airlines, manufacturers, IT providers, etc.), announced that Nepal Flying Labs won the 2020 TIACA Air Cargo Sustainability Award, sponsored by CHAMP Cargosystems. The award celebrates and encourages outstanding industry initiatives driving sustainability in air cargo. Nepal Flying Labs, a nonprofit social enterprise pioneering drone use in Nepal, won in the start-up category for its work flying humanitarian and medical cargo drones to remote regions of Nepal. As an up-and-coming start-up, Nepal Flying Labs will receive a US $10,000 prize.
Nepal Flying Labs Program Director Biplav Pageni received the award on behalf of the team during the Uniting Air Cargo session on the final day of the Digital Air Cargo Forum. “To reach the Sustainable Development Goals, it is vital for every citizen to have themselves connected with the needed resources and get live-saving supplies with ease,” said Pageni in his acceptance speech. “Therefore, we plan to scale our drone cargo technology to other rural locations and establish networks of medical cargo drones to help more people in the coming days. We would like to call for partnerships as we are looking for organizations interested in working in Nepal. It is said that drones are the future of air cargo, but I believe drones are the present of air cargo deliveries, and we are using it to save lives in Nepal.”
Nepal Flying Labs also recently won the AUVSI XCELLENCE Award 2020 in the Humanitarian and Public Safety category for its Drone Optimized Therapy System (DrOTS) project, which links rural health outposts with high-end GeneXpert diagnostic tools via drones.
“All participants presented innovative and diverse solutions advancing sustainability in the Air Cargo industry, including carbon and waste reduction, drones, humanitarian aid, packaging, ULDs, process efficiencies, people focus, and COVID-19 relief,” said Céline Hourcade, Transition Director and Head of Sustainability Program, TIACA. “In a year marked by a global pandemic which disrupted our industry, problem-solving and forward-thinking companies like… Nepal Flying Labs bring hope that air cargo can come out of this crisis stronger and more resilient.”
All the Awards finalists presented their products and solutions live at TIACA’s digital edition of the Air Cargo Forum (ACF) on December 2nd, followed by online voting for the start-up category by the TIACA members. The winners were determined by a group of independent judges representing TIACA’s Sustainability Strategic Partnership members, including CHAMP Cargosystems, Turkish Cargo, TRANSOM, Brussels Airport, and Flexport, as well as TIACA’s members. The winners were announced online on December 10th at the closing of the ACF. An in-person ceremony is planned at the next physical TIACA event in 2021 following the loosening of the COVID-19-related restrictions.