A Pittsburgh-based drone company has received the FAA’s blessing to use drones to disinfect public venues.
The federal agency granted a “137” certification for AERAS Drone Disinfectant Solutions, allowing the company to sanitize sports and entertainment venues such as stadiums or concert arenas against COVID and other viral pathogens.
The special certification is usually reserved for spraying pesticides on crops. Company officials say this is the first such certification for COVID-related disinfection. AERAS will use patented electrostatic technology to disperse EPA-approved approved disinfectants.
“We’re grateful for the support and trust we’ve received from the FAA in making our company the only one legally and legitimately certified to use drone technology to kill COVID-19,” said Justin Melanson, co-founder and director of research and development at AERAS. “We’re absolutely thrilled to be able to provide a more effective and efficient means to deploy a venue’s preferred EPA-approved disinfectant.”
“AERAS is honored to be the first company to meet the FAA’s high standards to receive this certification to sanitize outdoor venues as we return to a new normal coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Eric Lloyd, CEO and co-founder of AERAS. “As sports and music fans ourselves, we understand how strongly people are itching to get back to feeling the energy of in-person entertainment. We’re ecstatic to be able to be a part of quickly bringing fans back to stadiums and fields safely.”
Drones have become a vital tool in the fight to eradicate COVID-19 pathogens in a variety of use cases. Shortly after the widespread outbreaks of the pandemic last year, drone companies like DJI modified crop spraying drones to accommodate disinfectant for use overseas.
The Atlanta Hawks contracted with Lucid Drone Technologies to use their D1 Disinfecting Drone to help sanitize the 17,500-seat State Farm Arena between events. The drone can cover 150,000 square feet in an hour.
New York-based firm EagleHawk has also developed a process to sanitize large areas against COVID-19 via disinfectant drones. Using EPA-approved chemicals, the disinfectant drones can spray over large facilities such as stadiums and ballparks, or indoor buildings such as jails and government offices.
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