Drone operators urged to ensure safe operations. PHOTO /DONALD KOGAI

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.


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