The much-awaited authorization for experimenting with the use of drones in France for crop protection creates significant development opportunities for Aero41, the Swiss company in which Delta Drone is the largest shareholder with 40% of the capital alongside the founders/managers.
The decree of 26 August 2019 concerning the implementation of experiments in the use of remote-controlled aircraft for spraying phytopharmaceutical products was published in the Journal Officiel on 8 October 2019, allowing for an actual possible start of operations as of 30 October 2019 for a period of three years.
It aims to determine the benefits of using drone systems for agricultural land with a slope exceeding or equal to 30%, to limit the risk of workplace accidents and for the precise application of phytopharmaceutical products approved for organic agriculture or for a farm that has been certified as having high environmental value (HEV).
Among the crops in question, the foremost is grapes. Alsace, Champagne, Burgundy and the Côtes du Rhône are regions of the utmost importance for wine production, and a significant portion of the vines grow on steeply sloped land that falls under the decree’s scope of application.
Considering the value of the products resulting from this crop, the use of adapted professional drones is a gamechanger for the profession.
In this context, the technology developed by Aero41 is the most complete solution in agronomic terms that exists on the market. Indeed, from the beginning, it was specifically developed for Swiss wine producers and their production areas where hillsides are not only particularly steep but also close to urban areas.
The quality of the results obtained made possible the official approval of the system in Switzerland (early 2019), and – more recently – its certification in Austria (Austrocontrol / EASA). In both of these countries, an initial operations campaign was possible in 2018, providing very valuable experience.
For Frédéric Hemmeler, CEO of Aero41, “the official start of an experimental period in France provides significant prospects for development. For a long time now, we have been close to many French winemakers, often major and influential players in the field, with whom we have built strong and trusting relationships. They are all aware of the proven technical results we’ve had and have been waiting impatiently for approval in France so they can begin their own experiments on their properties. Delta Drone’s support will now really pay off as it will more than help our future operations in France. We are already in constant contact with its regulatory department (DSL) in order to prepare the most thorough administrative documentation possible. Also, we have trained several Delta Drone pilots in the use of our systems, which gives us a top-notch strike force that is at the ready.”
Despite the closeness of the teams on an operational level, Aero41 acts independently of Delta Drone. Nevertheless, the spreading solution developed by Aero41 is perfectly in line with the Group’s development strategy, which consists of progressively creating a line of professional solutions specifically adapted to targeted activities on an international level.
Indeed, as regards the Group’s portfolio of solutions, the Aero41 solution effectively complements and completes the two professional solutions that are about to be launched in the fields of security and warehouse inventory.
About Delta Drone: The Delta Drone Group is a renowned international player in the field of civilian drones for professional use. It offers a complete service, from data acquisition to data processing through a specifically developed information system, including a supply of professional pilots.
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