Tethered drones designed by Elistair – a technology company based in Lyon, France – have been deployed at the Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris – Le Bourget airports for Groupe ADP.
According to Elistair, although drones are forbidden from flying over airports and airfields, the company was granted special permission from the French civil aviation authority (DGAC) once it was able to prove to the DGAC that safety for people and airport structures was ensured.
Elistair says it obtained the necessary authorizations of its tethered stations, which use both a power cable and backup battery to eliminate the risk of crashes, as well as a secure, high-speed communications network via an integrated micro-wire – effectively eliminating interference and jamming.
Integrated with the SAFE-T station, the tethered drones were used for the
- Inspection of high walkways (such as for A380 planes) at the Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport: two flights of one hour each at an average altitude of 20 meters; and
- Calibration of air navigation assistance instruments at the Paris-Le Bourget airport: seven flights of 2-3 hours each at an average altitude of 50 to 60 meters.
According to Elistair, the drones were fully integrated into the airspace for all missions and had a direct link to the control tower. With safety conditions fully respected, normal airport activity continued uninterrupted during these flights, the company says.
“These various missions demonstrated the possibility of completely safe interventions, even in complex airport environments, while respecting safety standards required by airports and civil aviation authorities,” notes Guilhem de Marliave, CEO and co-founder of Elistair. “In addition, the missions highlighted the efficiency of tethered drones with respect to other existing solutions.”
He continues, “The airport sector offers interesting opportunities for drones. The numerous applications for which using a drone is more effective than traditional methods include inspecting runways and buildings, surveillance, airborne calibration, assistance with crisis management, tactical communications, and bird scaring. With remarkable benefits in terms of cost, time and efficiency, tethered drone systems represent an effective and safe solution to meet many airport needs while ensuring the safety of space and people.”