Our recently concluded webinar on 'Drones for improving healthcare supply chains and creating drone corridors for Africa' witnessed 250 attendees. Due to time constraint, our panelists were unable to reply to all the queries posted by the participants.

We won't disappoint our valuable participants and have decided to post the responses for their queries here:

Q.1: When will you release the Manual of Implementation that can provide more technical specifications on regulation compliance?

Lawrence K Amukono, Chief, National Continuous Monitoring Coordinator, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA): The Manual of Implementing Standards is an evolving document that would support understanding and implementation of regulation and is still under development. However, the regulations are in force and applicants can be served based on the provisions. The Manual should be available not in the distant future but no firm dates at the moment.

Q.2: Is KCAA considering setting up drone ports for larger drones in Kenya?

Lawrence K Amukono: Drone ports will be determined by need. KCAA is likely to develop standards for this and approve them but the development of such infrastructure is not within the authority's mandate. However, I would be interested to engage in such development.

Q.3: What are the approvals needed for small drone operators like to film real estate?

Lawrence K Amukono: Owners of such drones need to apply for registration. After that the approvals for filming can be applied for and approved with suitable conditions.

Q.4: How does the operator or regulator ensure that the drones which carry medical supplies, small parcels, etc. does not contain hazardous goods?

Lawrence K Amukono: Operators who have been certified would be allowed to transport dangerous goods and in strict compliance with the requirements.

Q.5: Without existing framework for the issue of remote pilot license (RPLs) and other ratings by KCAA, would a consideration be given to individuals for obtaining licenses and ratings based on their previous experience?

Lawrence K Amukono: The Manual of Standards does not stop implementation of the regulations. As stated, the orientation is risk-based and thus any application for operation outside the scope will be evaluated for risks and appropriate mitigation will be provided as part of the approval limitations.

KCAA recognises licenses issued in other jurisdictions and that allows one to transfer their credentials, all licensed applicants have to meet the established requirements and this is above all a safety issue.

Q.6: What is the time frame set up to sanction the licenses? Where can we obtain the regulations and paperwork fulfilment?

Lawrence K Amukono: Recognition of licenses involves verification of the same with the issuing authorities and thus there cannot be a timeline as some processes would be outside KCAA. Applications can be made at KCAA and inquiries to rpas@kcaa.or.ke for additional information.

Q.7: Zipline is doing amazing work and moving at such a fast pace globally. Congratulations! You have announced Ethiopia as the next African country to be served. When will you be starting operations? Are you working with the ministry of health once again as your local partner?

Yaniv Gelnik, global business development lead, Zipline: Yes, we are working with the minister herself and were selected as the operator of choice. We hope to have an announcement with more details soon. There is no country where we could have as high an impact!

Q.8: We agree that there is a need for humanitarian Cargo drone on the continent of Africa and other part of the world, However, we also need to focus on find and assess (data collection for mapping) and some countries do not even have access to data to allow them plan. What is UNICEF doing to support data collection and capacity building in West Africa?

Tautvydas Juskauskas, drone specialist, UNICEF/ISG UAS: Supply division is focusing on the delivery drone integration, but I am happy to put you in touch with our colleagues at African Drone and Data Academy as well as colleagues from the Sierra Leone Drone Corridor. You may reach out to me @ tjuskauskas@unicef.org.

Q.9: Do you intend to grow African talent to take over Drone Business Solutions?

Yaniv Gelnik: All our African operations are run by Africans.

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