The Drone Council South Africa was officially launched today by the minister of communications and digital technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, in association with the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT). Chairperson of Drone Council Irvin Phenyane welcomed the speakers and attendees.

The association which was initiated in 2019, was planned to be launched in May 2020, but was postponed due to the lockdown.

The launch was done through a webinar titled 'Strategic partnerships to accelerate a national drone industry growth strategy'.

Abrahams noted, "We have the responsibility to update digital industries and the drone sector is part of that."

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) CEO Nompumelelo (Mpumi) Mpofu said, "We are now in Covid-19 environment so we are looking into digitisation strategy. South Africa has 1,500 aerodromes of which 90 are airports. The whole country is well endowed with infrastructure to operate droneports."

She stressed on the air commerce demand for time-sensitive goods processing and business services firms throughout a metropolitan region that want to connect to their distant suppliers, customers and enterprise partners.

Other speakers were Simon Segwabe, executive aviation safety operations, SA Civil Aviation Authority; Yaniv Gelnik, global business development lead from Zipline; Chief of Staff Andi Fisanich of Wingcopter; Geoffrey Nyaga, chief operations officer of Astral Aerial Solutions; and Zac Kennedy, head of aviation regulatory strategy, Swoop Aero.