Drone pilots urged to keep safe operations
By Donald Kogai
Drone Space, Kenya’s most experienced unmanned aircraft systems
training organisation, graduated over 40 students during the
inaugural drone pilots graduation in East and Central Africa.
The pilots received their Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA)
approved Remote Pilots Licence (RPL) certificates enabling them to
operate drones in the Kenyan national airspace.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony Ministry of Information,
Communications, and Technology Chief Administrative Officer
Maureen Mbaka said that the unmanned aircraft industry is leading
the way into a new age of aviation.
“As the drone industry continues to grow and develop at a rapid
rate, it is crucial that pilots and operators do the same in order to
improve their own standing within the industry,” Ms. Mbaka said.
“Drone technology will continue to play an increasing role in
optimizing various sectors including agriculture, housing, security,
tourism amongst other key sectors of our economy, but first we
must master how to fly and operate them right.”
Drone Space aims to build a team of KCAA–certified drone pilots
who will practice flying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to meet
the local demands for various sectors of the economy.
“The age of unmanned aircraft has arrived. The graduation is the
first in the country, but a big leap in our national efforts to harness
the use of this new technology. At Drone Space, we are committed to
help shape this nascent industry, our graduates are very well
trained, motivated and would make ideal drone pilots.”
“Drones provide opportunities not just for service delivery but also
employment. It’s important that we do not miss this wave of frontier
technology,” said UNDP Resident representative Kenya Walid
KCAA requires commercial drone owners to be certified and
registered before operating them.
“Safety remains a fundamental concern to our collective mission.
For us to reach the full potential this industry has to offer, we must
make safety a thing,” Said KCAA UAS Technical Officer Frank Kigen
During the event, the company revealed that it will be launching a
Women in Drones Technology (WIDT) programmes a drone and
data analysis program that targets graduate beneficiaries from all
the East African member states, Ethiopia and Malawi
will see the Academy sponsor 12 women in Technology for the
Drone and Data analysis program.
“We are on a journey to introduce the Women in Drones Technology
Programme. We have developed the curriculum and are currently
looking for partners to establish the program. We target to start it
before the end of the year,” Tony Mwangi said.
Upon graduation, the beneficiaries will receive a Remote Pilot
License and Certificate of Drone Technology (CDT) effectively
enabling them to construct and assemble drones, aircraft
fundamentals, operations, regulations, and data analytics for
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). These are rare skills across the
continent and will open myriads of opportunities for them.