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Kenya plans first ever drone academy to boost capacity

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A first ever drone academy in Kenya could be set up soon, Kenya Civil aviation Authority(KCAA) has said adding that it would approve the application for school licence by logistics firm Astral Aviation.

KCAA director-general Gilbert Kibe says that Astral Aviation is the first applicant since last year’s gazettement of regulations for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).

Mr Kibe said that although the application is in the review stage, KCAA will definitely approve it because more drone training schools are needed in the country to create local capacity.

Kenya has no drone pilot, neither does it have a training institution for UAV operators. Currently South Africa is the only country in Africa to with such training institution.

Sanjeev Gadhia, Astral chief executive officer says they have identified Lukenya and Limuru as possible school sites. The regulator demands that the sites are located away from an airport. Initial instructors for the drone academy in Kenya will be brought in from South Africa.

Astral’s course will have commercial training, basic and advanced piloting.

The firm has set the commercial training fees at Sh30,900 ($300), basic training for drone pilots will be between Sh250,000 and Sh500,000 while advanced course will cost Sh500,000 and above.

Read:Want to operate drone in Kenya? Here’s what you need to know

However, the training cost will likely come down once the country has its own instructors.

Drone also best known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) is a small aircraft that flies remotely without a human pilot aboard. It is controlled from the ground at a command center by an operator or a pilot.

They are used for transportation of light cargo, traffic management and photography.

Businesses are also using drones to provide entertainment, inspect buildings and locations, and even in emergency situations.

In order to own a drone in Kenya, one must first receive approval to operate it from the Ministry of Defence after which an application is made to Kenya Civil Aviation Authority(KCAA) and receive approval to fly.


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