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Alaska Food Security

Why Alaska?

In our CEO's early career working as a Project Coordinator and Trainer at the National Institute for Standards and Technology - Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST-MEP) program's Alaska division she got to do what many people only dream of doing, travel Alaska. Between 2008 and 2012 she got the rare opportunity to visit over 14 rural communities and villages across the beautiful state she called home teaching ecommerce and financial literacy to indigenous artists and entrepreneurs. Sometimes that meant staying in a inn but most of the time it meant sleeping in someone's spare bedroom or on a cot in a villages community building. But in almost every community she visited one thing remained constant, the cost of groceries from 'local retailers' were exorbitant and fresh food in the winter months was a rarity. Fast forward several years and these costs have only continued to climb.

Our goal in this project is to use our drones to build on the community driven work already happening through programs like AgAlaska by Alaska Village Initiatives (AVI). AgAlaska aims to educate and support villagers in rural Alaska in climate relevant farming practices for both food security and food sovereignty purposes. AVI, who represents over 229 federally recognized tribes across the state, is looking to our drones to overcome the logistics barrier faced by the micro and small farmers they work with; creating a state-wide logistics network that not only supports the needs of farmers but of rural and urban residents and retailers.

Such a network would address three key problems Alaska's logistics environment is facing while creating a mobile infrastructure system managed and monetized by the communities that deploy them rather than introducing yet another financial and quality of service stranglehold over a rural communities critical logistics by an outside company. These three key problem areas include:
 

  1. Lack Of Equitable Access
    Rural Alaskans suffer lack of equitable access to fresh foods, low cost non-perishables,
    diversity of available hard goods, and pharmaceutical drug abuse due to necessity of bulk prescriptions combined with lack of accessible pharmaceutical care.
     

  2. Poor Service From Limited Freight Options
    Current methods of freight shipping through the airlines from the city to the village more often than not result in hundreds of thousands of dollars of food perishing on frozen tarmacs in the winter, tens of thousands of dollars of damage from poor handling of food goods by airline and cargo carriers, and entire shipments of food going 'missing' in transfer and deconsolidation processes.
     

  3. Under Investment In Local Infrastructure
    "Alaska Bypass removes an incentive for the state of Alaska to develop infrastructure to connect its rural residents." (USPS Office of Inspector General) "The Alaska Bypass program’s original purpose to provide affordable and reliable service to rural Alaskans and help the Postal Service operate more efficiently has morphed into a program that puts the Postal Service in the position of financially supporting the aviation industry, the State of Alaska, bush merchants, and others."

Get Involved

We are currently looking for programmatic partners to help in the administration of, coordination of, and implementation of the project; suppliers looking to trial new ways to reach urban / rural markets; and villages interested in participating in the pilot program. 

 

Partner Organizations:

 

Alaska Village Initiatives - Facilitating evaluation of applications; coordinating pre-deployment operator training (village side); coordinating delivery of equipment; collecting monthly / quarterly / annual reports.

Currently looking for organizations that can support FAA and DOT compliance efforts. If you are or have insight on suitable partners for this effort please contact us using the below methods:

Interested in supporting the program? Contact us at 513-828-0860 or at info@avariaero.com.


Partnering Suppliers:


Pre-Register Now - Suppliers can be anyone looking to utilize the ‘shipping lane’ created by the network to provide goods from the village to the city or from the city to village. 

To pre-register complete the linked form and a member of our team will provide you with a sample Letter of Intent. 


Participating Villages:

Pre-Register Now - Villages are able to apply to be a hub (vertiport) or spoke (vertistop).

To pre-register complete the linked form and a member of our team will provide you with a sample Letter of Intent. 
 

Before advancing to the project deployment phase participating communities will be expected to:
 

1) Submit a use case proposal outlining how your community plans to utilize the vertiport system. This proposal should: 

A) Detail the problems that your community faces that will be addressed by the implementation of a  drone delivery system;

B) Demonstrate how your community will monetize the system beyond the pilot program to ensure cost of system operations and equipment leases can be covered after the pilot program; and/or

subsidize the cost of system operations and equipment leases after the pilot program.
 

2) If selected for the program: Identify, Hire, and Train personnel who are responsible for the daily operation of the equipment, SOPs, and submitting routine/regular reports to the program manager. 

Support for these activities will be provided by AVI and Avari Aerospace.

 

For more information on what's next for this project reach out to us!

Let’s Work Together

Get in touch so we can start working together.

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