The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has awarded SKT Aeroshutter Limited (SKT) with the first-ever ‘Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) certification for a Ghanaian unmanned aerial vehicle operator.
This certification allows SKT to operate and provide aerial services and support beyond the visual line of sight of SKT’s drone pilots or operators.
The BVLOS certification is part of the national regulator’s airworthiness requirements or protocols for commercial Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) operations and activities in Ghana.
Civil aviation authorities around the world require that drones are always flown within the pilot’s visual line of sight.
Flying BVLOS operations where drones fly long distances can only be achieved with special approvals.
Having already been awarded with the ‘Visual Line Of Sight’ GCAA certification in 2019, the GCAA BVLOS approval is an “extra feather in SKT’s cap”, said SKT’s Chief Executive Francis Owusu.
As a key player in the West African drone industry, SKT has provided services in agriculture, survey and mapping; infrastructure inspection and monitoring; security and surveillance; traffic analysis, drone delivery, drone sales and maintenance.
Headquartered in Ghana with presence in Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal, SKT is a technology-based service company which specialises in aerial data collection, analysis and recommendations through Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence.
The company uses unmanned aerial vehicles also known as drones as a platform for the sensors that are used in its data collection.
SKT also offers geospatial data analysis services, where data collected with UAVs and other survey equipment, are processed and analysed to meet the client’s needs.
SKT said in a statement that its team combines a “deep understanding and extensive experience” in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications, well suited for geospatial analysis in various fields such as agriculture, construction, surveying, mapping, urban planning, transportation among others.
SKT said it “strongly believes that accurate and actionable data offered to clients promote asset stewardship and sustainable performance, warranted by the intrinsic production and environmental land value”.
The company has been working with partners around the globe to develop an extensive intellectual property portfolio, including more than 60 unique AI scripts that enable fully-automated land use and object recognition.
As the first GCAA-certified aerial services provider, SKT noted that its “innovative technology and aerial data automation process has been thoroughly tried and tested”, to the extent that it has processed and evaluated “well over five million hectares data to offer its existing and new clients”.