Mr Senam Atadja, a Senior Aviation Safety Inspector at the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) on Tuesday announced that only two drone companies – SKT Aero Shutter and Rock Mines, have been certified for commercial operations in Ghana.
About 800 companies and individuals have so registered to engage in commercial drone operations.
Mr. Atadja said “a lot more are undergoing certification to become commercial operators”.
He was speaking at the launch of SKT Aero Shutter’s range of drones in Accra.
The vertical take-off drones introduced by SKT Aero Shutter are for mapping and surveying, and agriculture.
The company also has other drones for the various sectors – mining, construction, security, project monitoring and telecommunications.
Mr. Atadja reminded drone operators to familiarize themselves with regulations on the drone technology.
Drones for example could not be operated within a 10-kilometre radius of an airport with prior approval of the GCAA.
A drone could not also be operated by anybody for any purpose with first registering it.
He noted that the drone technology held a lot of promise, saying “we need to prepare to embrace it and modify to meet the country’s own demands”.
The Authority, for now, had decided to embark on education and awareness creation on the regulations and directives on the technology.
Mr Derrick Annan, the Managing Director, SKT Aero Shutter, said the future of farming was looking exciting as “we gradually shift to the use of drone technology”.
He said the drones introduced were meant to boost agriculture, make things simple for farmers and those in other industries.
“Drone technology is quite new but we have to take advantage of it for our benefit,” he added.
“We want to make sure that more of the youth get engrossed in the technology which can transform the continent.”
He said drones have many uses, including monitoring agricultural fields, to detect crop diseases and spraying crops, which was far easier than applying manual methods.
Mr. Francis Owusu, the Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), underlined the determination of the Management to make sure that all their drones were registered for use in all sectors of the economy.
He identified training as vital for their operations and said the vision was to create an academy, where they could train and create awareness on the operations of drones in the country.
He said one thing, the company was seeking to do was to design a tracking system to enable the authorities monitor all their licensed drones.