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Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) delivery service to begin in Kenya

KQ announced a deal with Skyports, a UK-based logistics company, to operate commercial drones in the country in an effort to minimize reliance on only passenger and cargo flights. They have agreed to work together to establish permanent unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operations in the country.

The national carrier intends to use these drones for medical deliveries, logistics, and inspection cases in collaboration with their relevant partner institutions. KQ CEO, Allan Kilavuka, noted in a statement that he is very excited about these new opportunities in diversifying their drone technology application, with the first operation expected to launch between August and December of 2021.

This memorandum of understanding between KQ and Skyports comes nearly a year after lawmakers legalized the use of drones in the country in April of 2020. Since then, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has been inviting applications for permits to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for recreational, commercial, or any other purpose that falls within the categories they have listed.

Skyports’ operational experience with beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) puts the company in a unique position to assist Kenya Airways. Skyports has received regulatory approval to fly the UK’s first BVLOS medical drone deliveries for the National Health Service (NHS), and operations have begun. Similarly, in December 2020, Skyports carried out the UK Royal Mail’s first drone parcel delivery in Scotland. Skyports has immense expertise in air mobility operations through its drone delivery logistics service