On the 25th of February, Mineral Wells airport in Texas was the focus point for FAA, USAF and US Navy officials to observe the ways of working of the Spanish company Canard Drones, specialized in airport NavAids inspection and certification. The solution encompasses cameras and receivers on board a commercial drone, with a revolutionary software.
This is not only CANARD’s first operation in an airport in the USA, but it is also the first FAA authorization of this kind to allow commercial drone operation inside an airport and in coordination with local traffic. Canard staff performed all works perfectly embedded in the airport daily routines.
The work consisted in PAPI (visual aid), and ILS inspection (radio navigational aid). The company demonstrated the short time needed to inspect the NavAids, the easiness of transportation and operation and the automatization of the procedure. CANARD showcased their Calibration Tool App, which provides real-time ILS data while the drone is flying its autonomous flights. Several measurements are possible with CANARD’s drone, including glidepath angle, width, fluctuation and transverse check, as well as localizer course structure, fluctuation, course alignment, width, check, along with balance of modulations, and frequency offsets and separation.
The 25 attendees to the demonstration include personnel from different areas of the FAA, Thales, and United States Air Force (USAF), as they all share interest in Canard’s revolutionary solution. The use of the CANARD’s drone solution will result in very significant cost savings over the other methods.
After this operation, the FAA can start the procedures to allow airport NavAid inspections by drones. In a similar way, both the USAF and Thales can take advantage of this solution for their needs.