Tethered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturer Elistair has reported successful trials at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Le Bourget airports.
Adeline Penet, Elistair global account manager, said airport operator Groupe ADP approached the company with a list of about a dozen potential applications for tethered UAVs.
“We couldn’t help in all cases,” she told Jane’s , but trials of the company’s micro-tethered ORION UAV were conducted for two airport applications. One trial involved inspection of areas between the terminal building and the aircraft stand, while the other monitored the calibration of Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) lights.
“Under normal circumstances, these lights have to be calibrated twice a year to show that their angle is right,” Penet said. “This is very expensive because it has to be done by aircraft. However, we were able to use our tethered drones to do the same task. Furthermore, they did it faster, cheaper, and more safely.”
The trial could result in deployment of Elistair tethered UAVs not only in Paris (where a Groupe ADP team investigates opportunities), but also at other airports in France.
“We are very much at the beginning of drone applications in airports, where more and more potential tasks are being evaluated for drone use,” Penet remarked. “In the future, many more drones – both tethered and classic – will be used to undertake tasks currently done by other means.”
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