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Omani startup rubs shoulders with the best drone experts

19 Sep 2022 By MOHAMMED TAHA

Muscat – An Omani startup – AirGo – that provides drone services has gained international exposure with its participation in Commercial UAV Expo held in Las Vegas, US, from September 6 to 8.

The expo is the leading international trade show and conference focused on the operations and integration of commercial unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

AirGo specialises in enabling low-altitude drone operations and managing business activities related to such operations. It advises and provides expertise to clients on the procedures of obtaining permits needed to ensure that they can legally and safely pilot their drone. It also provides clients information on recommended and restricted zones for drone operations.

According to Anwaar Mohammed al Hinaai, CEO and founder of AirGo, her startup, which is backed by Oman Technology Fund, was the only company from the Middle East and North Africa to participate in the expo where over 200 companies and 2,500 drone specialists from 75 countries participated.

She informed that AirGo’s booth received a significant number of visitors. “AirGo had a great impact with its distinctive presentation. The expo showcased the world’s leading commercial UAS technologies, exhibiting the latest drones and holding demonstrations of new services in the field by professional drone solution providers.”

The idea for AirGo was born from her Master’s degree dissertation project. “Just as we have rules and regulations that control vehicular traffic, drone traffic also needs management to ensure that all drones fly safely. That’s how the idea was born for the startup,” Anwaar said.

AirGo signed an agreement with the sultanate’s Civil Aviation Authority in September 2021 for the live testing of an unmanned traffic management system named Tahleeq which is now in its last stage before being launched in the sultanate.

AirGo is a team of six – three programmers, an operations officer and two administrators.
The only challenge, Anwaar feels, is that with the great economic opportunity of drones comes a challenging operating infrastructure.

The technology is evolving faster than the regulations which limits the best utilisation of this technology. Although making drones is a lucrative business, Anwaar doesn’t have any plans of making drones. “We are enablers. What we do is facilitate approvals, promote economic operations and provide education on training systems for safe and legal drone operations.”

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