Google Loon signs Ugandan overflight agreement

High altitude Google subsidiary Loon has secured an overflight agreement with Uganda as it works towards the provision of internet services in Kenya and beyond.

“Loon is grateful for the approval that the Uganda government has given as we prepare to provide service in Kenya and beyond,” Anna Prouse, Loon head of government relations said. “These permissions are critical as we work to advance our mission of connecting people everywhere.”

“It was a two year journey and we are glad that the Loon team persevered in explaining us this technology that is designed to help mankind,” Uganda Civil Aviation Authority director general Dr David Mpango said.

Google Loon is also working with other regional governments, including Kenya and Tanzania to secure overflight approvals to provide service over the continent.

In Kenya, Google has made strides to operate Loon in the country. Communications Authority approved Telkom Kenya’s partnership with Loon to fly them in the country. Loon also opened a ground station in Nyeri as they neared the commercial launch of the service.

Loon balloons are launched from the United States and navigate towards a targeted location. Monitored 24/7 and to date, they have flown over 1 million flight hours and travelled over 40 million kilometres. When they are decommissioned, they are navigated to a sparsely populated landing area for a soft landing and specialized teams collect the payload for analysis and recycling.