#UAV’S PRESENT NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES AND ASTRAL AVIATION THE FIRST IN EAST AFRICA TO INVEST IN NEW TECHNOLOGY
(Posted 23rd July 2018)
(Picture courtesy of Falcon Drones)
Astral Aviation’s CEO Sanjeev Gadhia last week, while at the Farnborough Air Show in the UK, signed a firm purchase order on behalf of the company with Falcon Drones for initially two Lucas F250 UAV’s commonly referred to as drones.
The unmanned aircraft will be able to uplift as much as a quarter of a ton in cargo, has a range of up to 1500 kilometres and can travel at a maximum speed of up to 200 kilometres an hour, though cruising speed was given as 150 kilometres an hour by the UAE based manufacturer when providing the specs.
Astral Aviation is a pioneer in the commercial use of the so called drones and is even set to open a dedicated UAV operator training college, something the Kenyan parliament in their infinite wisdom has thrown a spanner into when they threw out the KCAA drafted UAV regulations. The regulations had reportedly already been gazetted after being approved by the National Security Advisory Committee and companies like Astral Aviation are now staring at the prospect of operations being delayed for some time, costly for them but also costly for Kenya as a whole while other African countries like Rwanda are embracing the technology on the double.
Astral Aviation, which already operates a fleet of conventional cargo aircraft, will use Nairobi as the distribution hub for UAV deliveries, initially within Kenya before expanding into the wider region to fully exploit the range capabilities of the ‘Unmanned Aerial Vehicle‘ into which UAV translates.
It is understood that when the first assessments are possible about performance and abilities, operating cost and delivery logistics, Astral is planning to order a further 10 of these airborne delivery vehicles – as and when operations will be able to commence.