The world’s first cargo drone port in Rwanda

Rwanda may become the host of the world’s first cargo drone port. Proposals for the introduction of cargo drones in the country include the construction of three drone-port buildings due for completion by 2020.

Architecture firm Foster + Partners, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and its linked Afrotech company have introduced the plan to launch drones with a three-metre (10-foot) wingspan able to carry deliveries weighing 10 kilogrammes. The rolling landscape of Rwanda – also known as ‘the land of a thousand hills’ means physical access to some areas is a challenge.

ENCA reports that the drones are to carry blood, medication and other life-saving supplies over 100 kilometres. Delivery by air will become an affordable alternative to road-based deliveries. Larger drones with a six-metre wingspan will be capable of carrying payloads of 100 kilogrammes.

The project proposal said: "Cargo drone routes have utility wherever there is a lack of roads.” "Just as mobile phones dispensed with landlines, cargo drones can transcend geographical barriers such as mountains, lakes, and unnavigable rivers without the need for large-scale physical infrastructure."

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Image by Foster + Partners

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