Altitude Angel, the world’s leading UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management) technology provider and the principle ‘umbrella’ UTM platform for the African Drone Forum and Lake Kivu Challenge 2020, has been praised by event organisers for its ‘outstanding contribution to furthering commercial drone use in Africa and beyond.’
Having taken place through early February 2020 on the shores of Lake Kivu, Rwanda, the 2020 African Drone Forum comprised of a symposium, expo, business plan competition and a series of automated drone flying competitions which were designed to showcase how emerging technology can improve the lives of people in hard-to-reach rural communities.
Altitude Angel, as the lead and ‘umbrella’ UTM Service Provider (SP) for the African Drone Forum and Lake Kivu Challenge 2020, provided the FIMS (Flight Information Management System). During the Challenge, all other UTM SPs, UAS manufactures and developers, including Involi and uAvionix with their tracking technology, interfaced with Altitude Angel’s UTM system ensuring all operations were monitored and tracked for regional ATC, safely integrating flights into local airspace.
On Altitude Angel’s contribution to the Forum and Challenge, Jonty Slater the Competition Manger for the Lake Kivu Challenge, said: “We owe Altitude Angel a sincere debt of thanks for its outstanding contribution to the to the African Drone Forum and Lake Kivu Challenge 2020. The positive repercussions [of the Forum and Challenge] will be the furthering of routine commercial BVLOS drone flights in Africa and beyond.
“Altitude Angel’s involvement, both technically through the deployment of GuardianUTM and their willingness to share knowledge and experiences in the open forums and presentations, will not only reassure those already deploying drones across the continent they are on the right course, but will have undoubtedly inspired others to invest and adopt in these revolutionary and innovative technologies.”
Leading Altitude Angel’s team on-site at Lake Kivu was Phil Binks, Head of ATM, who added: “Over the past 10 days we’ve been able to demonstrate how the possibilities for commercial drone use in Africa are almost limitless. The challenges undertaken here at Lake Kivu gave us another opportunity to demonstrate our production UTM platform in a real-life environment and I hope we can take the learnings from here and apply them to routine flights all over Africa within the coming months and years.”
The African Drone Forum and Lake Kivu Challenge 2020 was a multi-stakeholder initiative supported by the World Bank, UK Department for International Development (DFID)/UK Aid, World Economic Forum, World Food Programme, UNICEF and other partners in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda.
The Lake Kivu Challenge flying competitions were designed to illustrate the real-world applications of airspace management, delivery and autonomous flight. Rwanda’s Lake Kivu region was specially selected for the symposium as it presented logistical challenges which unmanned aerial vehicles are uniquely positioned to address. The region is densely populated and located around an expanse of water, surrounded by hilly conditions which are notoriously difficult to traverse with conventional land vehicles.