My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Rwanda plans world's first Drone Airport - How the Land of 1000 hills will be connected by a Network of Drones

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Rwanda plans world's first Drone Airport - How the Land of 1000 hills will be connected by a Network of Drones

Africa, the Mother land where all Human life on planet earth traces its roots, is also an innovator in no less an area than the developement of drones. With this latest bit of news, a Third-world country has taken a step towards becoming the next big playground for Drone Startup from Silicon Valley looking for new markets for their services.
Rwanda, a Developing world country, has now officially beaten the Americans as it relates to their usage of drones as Rwanda’s Civil Aviation Authority is drafting plans for the world's first Drone airport as reported in the article “The world’s first airport for drones will be built in Rwanda”, published October 8 20915 by Lily Kuo, Quartz.

This is not surprising as Rwanda has a very tech-savvy government!!!

It also beats the lackluster effort of Silicon Valley and NASA (National Aeronautical and Space Administration) as they draft proposal for ATC (Air Traffic Control) for drones as they await word from the FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) as reported in my blog article entitled “@NASA Air Traffic Control System – Why @Google, @Amazon and @Verizonwireless want an ATC ahead of FAA's New Guidelines in 2016”.

Unlike countries such as South Africa and Kenya whose aviation authorities have very strict regulations on the use of Drones, Rwanda's government has openly accepted their usage, once they register with the Rwanda’s Civil Aviation Authority.

Registration is surprisingly fast to a Developing world country, with electronic business registration taking no more than three (3) days compared to thirty (30) days required in neighboring Uganda. Their open Technology policy on Laptops, Tablets and smartphones has made the country rapidly make a recovery since the Rwandan Genocide in 1994.

This has resulted in them being often referred to as Africa's Silicon Valley as noted in “Rwanda: Africa's Silicon Valley?”, published September 17, 2015 by Juan Herrero, Pulitzer Center and “Rwanda Could Be The Next Silicon Valley: But it Needs Youth to Help it Get There” published 01/07/2015 by Janet Longmore, Huffington Post.

So why exactly is Rwanda so interested in Drones?

Rwanda builds world's first Drone Airport - How the Land of 1000 hills will be connected by a Network of Drones

Aside from these artiste concept images, the Rwandan Government is tight lipped about details of their technical first in the world.

What is known is that the Airport is a part of a three-building structure as show below being developed by architectural firm Foster + Partners as reported in the article “Star architect designs the world's first 'airport for drones'”, published October 5, 2015 By Jacopo Prisco, CNN News.

Rwanda, the country of otherwise known as the “land of 1,000 hills”, is a landlocked country with a population of 11.78 million. The plans being put in place by the Rwandan Government and being drafted by Rwanda’s Civil Aviation Authority is for three (3) such drone airports servicing 44% of the country's population with Cargo Delivery services by the year 2019.

The majority of that cargo will be farm produce to be sent to market, delivery of postage and parcels as well as emergency medical supplies to the most remote parts of this land-locked country.

Naturally, fearing a little envy from the First world, the Rwandan Government is tight lipped about the plans for their Drone airports or even details on the drones themselves or who their contractor may be.

But they appear to be two (2) types of drones:

1.      Redline - Range 50km - Payload 10kg
2.      Blueline - Range 100km - Payload 100kg

Plans are afoot to also build a health clinic, a repair center for repairing and building more drones as well as a courier service for their Post Office.

Rwanda plans to build forty (40) more of these Drone airports across Rwanda, based on how well the first three (3) work out, interconnecting even the most remote regions of this land of 1000 hills via Drones.

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