In a big step forward in the delivery of cargo drones, California-based Volansi has obtained the Permit to Fly Out of Line of Sight (BVLOS) in Senegal.
Africa has long been a leader in drone delivery applications, starting with Zipline’s extensive medical delivery operation in Rwanda. However, this latest announcement is different – and represents a significant step in bringing delivery drones to use in Africa and around the world.
Volansi is currently the only freight drone operator in Senegal with BVLOS approval for nationwide operation. In order to ensure safe integration into the manned air traffic in Senegal, Volansi has built Sky Lanes or “Aerial Delivery Routes” for its customers. “In the near future, they plan to expand the network and become the first interconnected Sky Lanes network of drones across the continent, connecting mission points across rivers, bridges and hills and enabling reliable and fast drone deliveries,” it says in the press release.
In the airspace with comparatively lower density over Senegal and many countries around the world, Sky Lanes offer a clear path for the safe integration of drones. Sky Lanes could be a valuable model for use in areas of lesser or less densely populated areas, which is a tremendous opportunity.
“Our mission at Volansi is to build a world that is not bound by the boundaries of infrastructure. With Sky Lanes this is entirely possible,” said Hannan Parvizian, CEO and co-founder of Volansi. “This will have a massive impact on the African economy. Unlimited development and accessibility will increase by more than 100 percent and create more than a million jobs in the region.”
The impact of cargo drone delivery
Volansi has been a major player in the delivery of medical and humanitarian drones – but they have also been instrumental in demonstrating the on-demand delivery of mid-range cargo drones for a variety of applications. In Senegal, however, Volansi’s VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) drones will deliver cargo to mining customers in West Africa – a service that will have a huge impact on business processes.
The press release states: “Currently, a typical delivery is by truck, van or motorcycle. Depending on the road conditions and traffic, the journey can take two and a half hours or more. Volansi drone delivery services provide an essential solution for the supply chain, especially in areas where logistics are challenging and can make the same trips in as little as 30 minutes. The company delivers on-demand freight in dramatically reduced times, improving availability and cost savings for industries such as healthcare, oil & gas, and mining. “