Edmonton International Airport (“EIA”) will be the first ever airport in the world to integrate a full suite of unmanned aerial system (“UAS”) services into their daily airport operations. Starting in Q2 of 2017, Clear Flight Solutions (“CFS”) and AERIUM Analytics (“AERIUM”) will focus on safely integrating UAS technology at EIA. The primary focus will be on enhancing EIA’s Wildlife Management Plan while supporting continued growth of EIA’s Aerotropolis.
The Wildlife Management Plan will integrate CFS’s Robird™ technology to guide birds safely away from air traffic, while discouraging nesting near airside operations and glide paths. The Robird has been proven around the globe to be an effective, ecologically-friendly method of bird control. The high-tech Robird mimics the flight of an actual falcon in realistic fashion, making its flight behavior so indistinguishable from its natural counterpart that other birds believe that their natural enemy is present in the area.
“This is truly a historic moment for our company but especially for the entire aviation industry”, says Nico Nijenhuis, CEO of Clear Flight Solutions. “We currently operate our Robirds in a variety of places, but taking the step towards full integration within daily operations at an airport is huge. For years, there has been a lot of interest from airports. To now officially start integrating our operations at a major Canadian airport is absolutely fantastic.”
As part of the integrated suite of services, CFS AERIUM will be providing UAS mapping and inspections services to support EIA’s maintenance programs and future economic development efforts. These operations will continue from the flight missions that have been diligently conducted prior to this release. The missions were completed to satisfy Safety and Hazard Identification Risk Assessments requirements in addition to demonstrating competency. UAS missions have been conducted under tight supervision within 400m of active runways. CFS AERIUM will continue working towards full integration into airside operations in a professional, safe, and effective manner.
“The Robird was the missing link in our integrated service model”, says Jordan Cicoria of AERIUM. “Our relationship with Clear Flight Solutions has created an opportunity to have a positive ecologically-friendly impact on local industries at and surrounding the airport. In a world so focused on innovation, in which Edmonton International Airport wants to be a front runner, we are proud to have a partnership with Clear Flight Solutions that allows us to actually translate innovation into value”, says Tim Bibby of AERIUM.
Edmonton International Airport is Canada’s fifth-busiest airport by passenger traffic and the largest major Canadian airport by land area. It is a self-funded, not-for-profit corporation whose mandate is to drive economic prosperity for the Edmonton Region. Historically, EIA has been an early-adopter of promising technologies that can add economic value. It has always taken great care to ensure that they are implemented strategically and safely. "EIA is trialling this new technology and we will ensure that all of the airports regulatory requirements are met as part of our Safety Management System, such as Risk assessments etc. to ensure that the testing is completed in a safe manner,” says Steve Rumley, VP of Infrastructure at EIA.
EIA also houses the Alberta Aerospace and Technology Center (“AATC”). Since 2015, the AATC has been focused on the development and attraction of Aerospace and Technology companies to Alberta. In 2016, the AATC joined up with AERIUM to focus on the growth and development of UAV technologies in Alberta. “The partnership between AERIUM Analytics and Clear Flight Solutions is exactly the types of companies and solutions we look to foster under the Alberta Aerospace and Technology Center. Together with the EIA, we look forward to supporting and promoting this incredible integration of UAS services into airport operations around North America.” said Myron Keehn, VP of Commercial Development at EIA.