Lake Victoria Challenge pioneers UTM operations in East Africa

“Africa will be the first continent to develop unmanned air cargo at an industrial scale”, according to Jonathan Ledgard of the World Economic Forum, speaking at the Lake Victoria Challenge Mwanza symposium and demonstration event. This brought together global health, technology and transport experts to discuss transformative opportunities for the Lake Victoria region, with the ambition of scaling to Africa. The demonstrations offered a platform for industry, including global logistics experts, start-ups, drone pilots, and engineers to showcase their innovations and state-of-the-art in technology for cargo drone deliveries.

The UTM part of the event was designed to provide an overview of how globally interoperable UTM systems could accelerate the safe operation of drone services. A demonstration featured Involi and Wingtra organising a beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flight to Juma Island from the symposium site with the drone tracked through ADS-B data broadcasts.

During the event, according to Digital Journal, Drone Delivery Systems announced it had formed a partnership with Astral Aerial Solutions to start drone-based package and medication deliveries in Kenya. Using Drone Delivery Systems, precision landing kit, any delivery drone can be outfitted to deliver to an Airbox. According to Dr. Jeremy Tucker, Co-founder of Drone Delivery System: “Using the AirBox Home, AirBox Sky, our drone platform and our precision landing kit, we will have the first integrated end-to-end, secure drone delivery solution in the world.”

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