Remote airports: improving safety and efficiency

There are still large discrepancies in the industry on how some states implement ICAO SARPs. No Country Left Behind (NCLB) is an ICAO’s initiative to assist states in implementing them. CANARD is committed to the challenging task of  support small airports in remote areas, with different particularities, to maintain the levels of operation, assuring safety and efficiency.

In 2019, CANARD performed several operations in Papua New Guinea, one of the countries with more airports in the world. Many of them are isolated in small islands with low activity, and this makes it difficult to be profitable.

Juan Díaz, co-founder and CTO of CANARD Drones, shares his experience in Papua New Guinea. He travelled alone with CANARD equipment transported in a suitcase, in order to perform the calibration of visual aids at Momote and Gurney airports. 

“These airports normally require the services of different providers that are specialized in each of the systems: ground maintenance, visuals, etc. However, with our integrated drone-solution, just one instructed technician can perform all operations (photogrammetry, PAPI, ALS, ILS pre-flight check inspection…). This way, the presence of the calibration flight for ILS flight check inspection can be extended in time”.

CANARD Drones has developed a set of solutions, which simplifies the inspection and certification needs for navigation aids, both visual and radio. These solutions, implemented through the use of drones and a mobile app, represent an important leap in the capacity of civil aviation authorities and airports to maintain operational facilities with the highest levels of security.

This possibility means very good news for communities in remote locations and for areas where natural disasters have affected airports and therefore their ability to operate quickly and safely.

CANARD Drones operations are simple and direct. The system is transportable in a suitcase that can be checked in by any commercial airline, and can be handled by a single person. Calibration of a PAPI can take around 5 to 7 minutes and it can be done without requiring the closure of the runway.

The purpose of the company is to provide a solution that is easy to use and that can be adapted to clients’ needs. CANARD provides customers with a specialized training that allows them to carry out inspections, calibration and certification with efficient results. Authorities and airports can benefit from a great level of reliability, time savings and flexibility in terms of the immediacy of solving unexpected inspections or recertifications. For instance, in case of natural phenomena or disasters that affect an airport, it is difficult to reschedule the calibrating aircraft. This flexibility makes the Canard system more adapted in these contexts.

CANARD’s suite of solutions includes inspection, calibration and certification of PAPI, ALS and runway lights for visual aids. The system also inspects and calibrates ILS and VORs, offering a complete “suite” that allows airports greater flexibility in scheduling their inspections and calibrations, and frees them from the scarce availability of calibrating aircraft. 

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