First Airport for Drones to Be Built in Rwanda

An airport for drones to be built in Rwanda

Image via Foster + Partners

I think it’s safe to say that we all knew this was coming.

As the popularity of drones continues to rise, one country has announced plans to build the first airport for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the world. According to an article by Lily Kuo for Quartz, Rwanda’s Civil Aviation Authority is drafting regulations on UAVs to be submitted to the government’s cabinet. Officials there hope regulations will be in place by next year, when construction of an airport for cargo drones is set to begin.

The plans for the airport, a three-building “drone port,” were designed by architectural firm Foster + Partners and unveiled in September. The airport is for drones carrying emergency medical supplies to rural areas of Rwanda, a “landlocked East African country otherwise known as the ‘land of a thousand hills.’”

Not much is known about the drones other than the fact that they will have a wingspan of three meters and will be able to carry loads weighing up to 22 pounds across 62 miles. The article reports that almost half the country of Rwanda should be accessible by the drones, which will also deliver electronics, spare parts, and other commercial goods.

The airport will be located near a health clinic, a center for manufacturing drones, and a business similar to a post office. The article says that if the pilot program is successful, 40 other drone ports could be built in the country and other places in the region.

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