Aviation solutions firm, Astral Aerial Solution has sealed a deal with Japanese drone manufacturer Yamaha Motor Company to provide last mile air cargo delivery and crop spraying solutions in Kenya.
The deal, which was signed at the ongoing 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), will see Astral Aerial Solutions providing market entry support for the new Yamaha FAZER R G2 automated navigation unmanned aircraft (commonly known as drones), a high-end model developed for the industrial sector.
Astral Aerial Solutions, a fully owned subsidiary of Astral Aviation, provides drone services in Kenya for a variety of sectors including Humanitarian cargo air transport, medical deliveries, Aerial mapping and imagery, Aerial Surveillance and Security, Agriculture, Oil and gas services, the emergency response among others.
Speaking from Yokohama, Japan on the sideline of the ongoing TICAD7 conference attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta, Astral Aviation CEO & Founder, Mr. Sanjeev Gadhia will promote the use of the drones in the Kenya market for agricultural production services such as crop spraying, remote deliveries and overhead structural and civil engineering inspection functions.
First held in 1993, the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) is hosted by the Japanese Government in conjunction with the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme, the African Union Commission, and the World Bank.
“At Astral Aerial Solutions, our mission is to create a drone-revolution in Africa by adopting technology and innovation to solve Africa’s problem so that it can leapfrog to the future. Our association with Yamaha will provide us with the necessary impetus to scale our delivery capacity in the agricultural and civil engineering fields as the Fazer range of drones enjoy an unrivalled and proven reputation in agricultural performance; a testament to Yamaha’s commitment to remotely piloted helicopters and precision agriculture solutions,” Gadhia said.
He added that the partnership with such an innovative Japanese industrial concern will further enhance Kenya-Japan Bilateral relations in line with one of TICAD7’s agenda to foster economic transformation and improvements in business environment and institution through private investment and innovation.
In Kenya, Astral Aerial Solutions will be introducing the FAZER R G2 drone model, which is an industrial drone for automated flight to uninhabited areas out of visual range, and delivers excellent performance through its maximum payload of 35kg, a maximum altitude of 2,800m, and cruising range of 90km.
The FAZER is Yamaha’s latest helicopter to receive FAA approval in the U.S., following the RMAX model, which is currently being operated in agricultural applications in California’s Napa Valley. Yamaha provides direct services for fungicide aerial application on wine grapes in Napa Valley and is now planning to introduce the FAZER into operation.