Sep 24, 2017 Last Updated 10:33 AM, Sep 22, 2017

Malawi Drafting Guidelines For Drone Use

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Representatives of the Department of Civil aviation reveal that they are in the process of drafting regulating guidelines for drone users.

This follows the introduction of a humanitarian drone testing corridor last month, by the government.

Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles that are either controlled by pilots from the ground or autonomously, following a pre-programmed mission.

The Deputy Director for the Department of Civil Aviation, James Chakwera, told the Malawi News Agency that his department is currently drafting regulating guidelines with funding from United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF).

Chakwera said the regulation will help ensure that the drones are used only by trained pilots and registered users, explaining that the use of drones poses a threat to life and may damage property if not properly handled.

He also pointed out that the devices can potentially be used to infringe upon people’s right to privacy.

According to Hastings Jailosi, who is the Chief Flight Inspector at the Malawi Department of Civil Aviation, the commercial use of drones is currently not allowed in the country.

The drone corridor which is in Malawi’s central region of Kasungu will be used as a test site for aerial scouting in crisis situations, delivering supplies and using drones to boost internet connectivity.

Universities and other partners will also have access to the site.

The project will run until 2018.

Rwanda also launched a commercial drone delivery service last year to deliver medical supplies.

The project, in partnership with US Company Zipline, has cut delivery of medical supplies to minutes instead of hours.


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