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Kenya on course to have its first drone academy

If approved, Kenya will become the 2nd country on the continent after South Africa to have such training

Kenya is on the verge of setting up its first drone academy after the civil authority said it would approve the application for a school licence by logistics firm Astral Aviation.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), the sector regulator, confirmed receiving Astral’s application saying that it is currently being reviewed.

“We have received their application and it is in the reviewing process. We will definitely approve it because we need more of drone training schools to create local capacity,” said KCAA director-general Gilbert Kibe.

If approved, Kenya will become the second country on the continent after South Africa to have such training.

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This is the first application since last year’s gazettement of regulations for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).

Astral chief executive officer Sanjeev Gadhia said they working on how to get instructors from South Africa since Kenya does not have a drone pilot.

He also identified Lukenya and Limuru as possible school sites “as they are far from an airport, which is one of the conditions set by the regulator.”

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

The commercial training fees will cost 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. Sanjeev however noted that the prices will come down after training the local instructors.

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