Canard Drones and AENA (The Spanish Airport Operator) have signed a collaboration agreement to evaluate and validate the results of research and development in the maintenance of airport pavements and infrastructure.

This includes inspection and calibration of air navigation aid systems, as well as of the generation and optimisation of solutions carried out by Canard. The agreement, which will last for an initial period of two years, allows Canard to use AENA facilities and AENA to integrate the data obtained in its platforms or information systems.

The final objective of this collaboration is to facilitate runway and airport environment inspections. Terrain visualisation will be carried out by a set of sensors prepared and calibrated for the appropriate environmental conditions. It will also allow data collection while airports are closed for aircraft operations or working in non-operational areas.

Likewise, AENA will enable the measurement of the main radio navigation aids systems, such as ILS and VOR, in Spanish airports to verify the correspondence with current measurement systems. This will improve maintenance efficiency, with the objective being to minimise the time and frequency of flight inspections.

The PCI (Pavement Condition Index) technologies developed by Canard facilitate reduced times for field inspections and a decrease in subjectivity in the categorisation of track deteriorations. Automatic processes such as data collection through artificial vision and subsequent analysis using Artificial Intelligence will be used.

Canard and AENA have been collaborating for several years in the development of inspection and calibration systems for visual navigation aids and there are several Spanish airports where calibrations have been made with these new Canard technologies. Last September, Canard was present at the ICAO Innovation Fair in Montreal, inside AENA’s stand, along with two other Spanish technology companies.

AENA has been a supporter of Canard’s visual inspection development process from the beginning. The Spanish Air Force has also been helping Canard in the implementation and calibration of radio-aid, which is being marketed worldwide alongside the smart suite.

Canard is certified by AESA (The Spanish Safety Agency) to carry out specialised activities in controlled airspaces, including the different air traffic service providers in Spain, one of the countries with the most restrictive legislation in this area.