Italian aircraft manufacturer Tecnam has partnered with ultra-freezer manufacturer Desmon to repurpose its P2012 aircraft for COVID vaccine transportation. The platform, named P2012 TravelCare, was developed to help distributors worldwide reach remote and inaccessible communities, including areas with underdeveloped transport infrastructure, to ensure the timely and equitable delivery of the vaccine.
Equipped with Desmon's ultra-freezer designed to attain, maintain and track product temperature, Tecnam's P2012 TravelCare can transport as many as 115,000 doses to areas with less than 1,850ft of paved or unpaved runway.
The P2012 TravelCare platform is designed to maintain product temperatures at up to minus 86 degrees Celsius during transport, and minus 65 degrees for 10-12 hours after the system is unplugged for further distribution.
In addition to its reach and refrigeration capability, the P2012 TravelCare aircraft system can reduce the distribution cost to as little as USD 0.005 per dose, which is several orders of magnitude less when compared to the current means of transportation.
Tecnam MD Giovanni Pascale Langer says: “As the first vaccine breakthroughs were announced, we realised that communities in remote areas would face delays in receiving help. In Europe, 67 per cent of airports have runways shorter than 5,000ft, making them inaccessible to large aircraft.
“We decided to act fast. The P2012 TravelCare was designed to facilitate equitable and efficient vaccine distribution. It is our contribution to the fight for a COVID-free world. With the dedicated support of our partners at Desmon, we worked tirelessly to repurpose the P2012 aircraft and meet all the necessary regulations for this special mission within less than a month. The value of the P2012 platform will extend beyond this mission. Today, it will facilitate the vaccine transportation, and tomorrow it will continue to serve communities thanks to its versatility and easy configuration.”