Furthering Commercial Drone use in Africa and beyond


London, UK:  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.

About Altitude Angel: 

Altitude Angel is an aviation technology company delivering solutions which enable the safer integration and use of fully automated drones into airspace. Through its Airspace Management platform, GuardianUTM O/S, they deliver the essential software platform which enable national deployments of U-Space compatible services, safely unlocking the potential of drones and helping national aviation authorities and air navigation service providers to establish new services to support the growth in the drone industry.  

The foundation components of GuardianUTM O/S are also available to enable third-party UTM developers to incorporate enterprise-grade data and services into their UTM solutions.  

Altitude Angel was founded by Richard Parker in 2014 and is headquartered in Reading, UK.  

Altitude Angel’s developer platform is open and available to all at https://developers.altitudeangel.com.  

About GuardianUTM: 

GuardianUTM enables drone manufacturers and software developers to connect into a rich, dynamic source of accurate, authoritative and relevant information to support geofencing, while offering enhanced UTM capabilities such as a single interface to multi-country flight authorisation. 

The system is being deployed by NATS, the UK’s main air navigation service provider, and was demonstrated as part of ‘Operation Zenith’ in 2018, offering enhanced airport safeguarding and automated approvals to fly in controlled airspace. Altitude Angel is now bringing online functionality to enable drone pilots anywhere in the world to get 1-click access to controlled airspace. 

Its companion product, GuardianUTM O/S, supports all the functionality required to deliver national-grade drone traffic management capabilities to any country that wishes to safely unlock the potential of drones. 

Introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd0pvUrS07g 

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact: 

Stephen Farmer
Head of Corporate Communications & PR
T: 0118 391 3503

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