FLOX and Swedavia join forces in a 10 million SEK project to achieve zero bird-strikes at Swedish airports
Published: July 4, 2023
STOCKHOLM, JULY 4 2023 – FLOX, a leading climatetech startup on a mission to help humans and wildlife coexist, has partnered with Swedavia, the operator of several airports in Sweden, to revolutionize wildlife management at airports. This collaboration aims to develop and implement an innovative solution utilizing autonomous drones to effectively spot and deter wildlife, ensuring safer operations and minimizing the risk of bird strikes with airplanes. To support this ambitious endeavor, this 2-year long collaboration has received co-funding from Vinnova, Sweden’s innovation agency within the program “Advanced digitalisation – future solutions in Swedish industry”. The budget allocated for the project will facilitate comprehensive testing, refinement, and evaluation of the autonomous drone-based FLOX system across Swedavia’s three major airports Malmö Airport, Kiruna Airport and Umeå Airport.
The collaboration began with successful tests conducted at Malmö Airport in southern Sweden in June. During these tests, FLOX’s drones effectively scared away not only birds but also hares, demonstrating the system’s versatility in handling various wildlife species. The results were highly encouraging, indicating the potential for significant improvements in wildlife management practices.
“We see FLOX’s technology as a valuable addition to our existing wildlife control measures. It allows us to effectively track and deter birds but also other wildlife from the airport premises, providing an enhanced level of safety. Moreover, the ability to identify areas where wildlife congregates enables us to target our protective measures more precisely. FLOX’s solution offers great potential in minimizing bird-strikes and ensuring the safety of our operations.” – says Fredrik Wihlborg, Safety Revisor Swedavia Malmö Airport.
The collaboration between FLOX and Swedavia will focus on the development and implementation of the autonomous drone system across multiple airports. The project scope includes refining the drone technology, adapting it to Swedavia’s safety protocols and processes, and establishing organizational connections for seamless integration into the airports’ existing infrastructure. FLOX’s state-of-the-art system designed to spot and herd wildlife away, coupled with Swedavia’s expertise in airport operations, will provide a groundbreaking approach to wildlife management. By leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as machine learning and wildlife signals tailored to each species, and remote monitoring and control capabilities, FLOX’s solutions offer a proactive and efficient solution for mitigating wildlife risks.
“Our technology has shown great promise in our initial tests at Malmö Airport,” said Sara Nozkova, CEO & Co-founder at FLOX. “We are excited to collaborate with Swedavia to further develop and implement our solutions for airports. This partnership represents a significant step towards enhancing aviation safety while maintaining our commitment to sustainability. This collaboration holds tremendous potential not only for improving wildlife management at Swedavia’s airports but also for scaling the solution globally. With no comparable solution currently on the market, Sweden has a unique opportunity to lead in this innovative field and pave the way for enhanced aviation safety worldwide.”
A short video with highlights from tests at Malmö Airport might be seen here.
Bird strikes pose a significant challenge for aviation safety, with thousands of incidents reported worldwide each year. These collisions between birds and aircraft can cause damage to aircraft engines, windshields, and other critical components, endangering passenger safety and leading to costly repairs and flight delays. One bird-strike costs approximately 1 million euro. Airports have been investing substantial resources in managing wildlife hazards, employing measures such as bird patrols, acoustic deterrents, and habitat modification. However, the complexity and unpredictability of wildlife behavior demand new approaches to ensure robust safety measures.
Source: Business Insider.
Swedavia is the operator of several airports in Sweden, including Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Gothenburg Landvetter Airport, and Malmö Airport, among others. Swedavia’s mission is to develop and manage airports with a focus on customer satisfaction, sustainable development, and aviation safety. Swedavia actively contributes to the development of the Swedish transport sector and aligns its operations with the country’s transportation policy goals.
For media inquiries, please contact: Sara Nozkova, CEO & Co-founder FLOX, [email protected]