In a big step forward for cargo drone delivery, CA-based Volansi has received flight approvals to operate beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) in Senegal.
Africa has long been a leader in drone delivery applications, starting with Zipline’s widescale medical delivery operation in Rwanda. This latest announcement, however, is different – and represents a significant step in putting delivery drones to work in Africa and around the world.
Volansi is the currently only cargo drone operator in Senegal with BVLOS approval to operate country-wide. To ensure safe integration with Senegal’s manned aircraft traffic, Volansi has built sky lanes, or “aerial delivery routes” for their customers. “In the near future, they plan to expand the network and become the first interconnected delivery drone network of sky lanes across the continent connecting mission points over rivers, bridges, and hills enabling reliable and quick deliveries via drone,” says the press release.
In the comparatively lower density airspace over Senegal and many countries around the world, sky lanes offer a clear path forward for the safe integration of drones. Sky Lanes could provide a valuable model for use in lower density or less populated areas anywhere:, which represents an enormous opportunity.
“Our mission at Volansi is to build a world unbound by the limitations of infrastructure, and with sky lanes, it’s totally possible,” said Volansi CEO and Co-founder Hannan Parvizian. “This will have a massive impact on Africa’s economy, offering limitless development and accessibility will increase by more than 100 percent, creating more than a million jobs in the region.”
The Impact of Cargo Drone Delivery
Volansi has been a signficant player in medical and humanitarian drone delivery – but they’ve also been instrumental in demonstrating the on-demand, mid-range cargo drone delivery for a wide variety of applications. In Senegal, however, Volansi’s vertical take off and landing (VTOL) drones will deliver cargo for mining customers in West Africa – providing a service that will have an enormous impact on business processes.
The press release explains: “Currently, a typical delivery is done using a truck, van, or motorcycle. Depending on road conditions and traffic, the journey can take two and a half hours or more to complete. Volansi drone delivery services provide an essential supply chain solution, particularly in areas where logistics is challenging and can complete these same journeys in just 30 minutes. The company is delivering cargo on-call, at dramatically reduced times, improving uptime and cost savings for industries such as healthcare, oil and gas, and mining.”