DRONE TRAINING THOUGHT TO BE KEY TO INCREASED COMMERCIAL USE IN KENYA
(Posted 10th February)
Kenya is on course to establish its first dedicated drone training school after the civil aviation authority said it would approve the application for school licence by aviation logistics firm Astral Aviation. This is the first application since last year’s gazettement of regulations for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).
Kenya has no licensed drone pilots mainly because there is no licensed training facility available as of now.
If approved, Kenya will become the second country on the continent after South Africa to have such a facility.
The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, the regulatory body for the aviation industry, has confirmed receiving Astral’s application and said it is being reviewed.
KCAA Director General Gilbert Kibe was quoted saying: ‘We have received their application and it is in the reviewing process. We will definitely approve it because we need more of drone training schools to create local capacity‘.
Mr. Sanjeev Gadhia Astral CEO said they have identified potential school sites which must be far from an airport and not interfere with flight paths, part of the conditions set in the new regulations.
Astral proposed to employ instructors from South Africa before local capacity has been created.
Gadhia was quoted to have said: “We have been in touch with the instructors from South Africa and are ready to bring them in for training of our local drone pilots once we get approval from KCAA’. Drones are used for photography, transportation of light cargo and traffic management and in a continental pilot project to deliver medicines and medical supplies in Rwanda.