Norman Foster’s High-Concept Drone Airport Will Bring Aid to Rwanda

June 10th, 2016  |  Source:

By 2030, every rural town in Africa could be equipped with an undulating red brick droneport, designed by starchitect Norman Foster, to serve as a hub for deliveries of crucial medical supplies. Dubbed the “world’s smallest airport,” a full-scale prototype of the first droneport has been unveiled at the 15th International Architecture Biennale in Venice.

The design aims to help compensate for the dearth of infrastructure on the world’s second-largest continent, which often prevents people in far-flung regions from accessing life-giving supplies.

Africa’s population is set to double to 2.2 billion by 2050. The gap between the population and infrastructural growth is drastically widening: Only a third of Africans live within a mile of an all-season road. There are no continental highways and not enough bridges and tunnels to meet the needs of most communities. “Something as basic as blood is not always available for timely treatment,” Norman Foster, founder of Foster + Partners, said in a statement. “We require immediate bold, radical solutions to address this issue.” The proposed solution: Use flying robots, or cargo drones, to carry supplies over mountains, lakes, and deserts to inaccessible communities. “The Droneport project is about doing ‘more with less’, capitalizing on the recent advancements in drone technology — something that is usually associated with war and hostilities — to make an immediate life-saving impact in Africa,” Foster said.

For plans, maps and video see:

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