At the Kigali forum, ICAO highlighted the role played by Africa in the development of drones.
During the African Drone Forum in Kigali, ICAO recalled the major role played by Africa in the expansion of drones. The African continent, for its regulatory regime as well as its geography and the needs of its population turns out to be a real el-dorado for the sector and in particular for the development of innovations. In addition to the activities carried out on the continent by Western companies, many African start-ups are born in this field. Their primary ambition is to support the development of the continent and respond to societal challenges. A leitmotif also shared by several companies relying on drone technology and who are part of the Africa4Future initiative of Airbus BizLab. These aircraft transform a vast array of sectors. “These include agricultural, medical, mining, survey, scientific, humanitarian, and other operations and applications”, mentions ICAO.
If drones widen possible development areas in Africa, “the increasing numbers of aircraft, whether manned or unmanned, planned to operate at low level simultaneously within urban and non-urban areas, will require new approaches to air traffic management”, recalls ICAO Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Chief, Leslie Cary. “The identification, allocation and recovery of costs for the development and deployment of physical infrastructure remain to be addressed”. Cary adds: “ICAO’s work in this area is helping focus research and development activities for required technologies and certification methods as well as the development of a framework for UTM (drone traffic management)”.