Government partnership with aerospace start-up helping clear airport fog delays

Research, Science and Innovation

A government partnership with New Zealand aerospace start-up, Pyper Vision, could help make fog delays a thing of the past for passengers, freight, airlines and airports around the world, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods says. 

“Pyper Vision is developing a solution that disperses a safe water-absorbing environmentally-friendly product via drone that soaks up moisture in the air and clears runway fog so that pilots and air traffic controllers can operate safely. It’s a simple idea that could solve a multi-billion dollar problem. A critical area of sky can be cleared in as little as 10 minutes.

“We all know what it’s like as a passenger flying in and out of New Zealand airports experiencing flight delays caused by heavy fog. As well as being frustrating, there are large costs for exporters, airlines and airports as well as significant carbon emissions from diverted flights,” Megan Woods said.

The development of Pyper Vision’s technology will be assisted through the Government’s Airspace Integration Trials Programme, which supports the safe integration of advanced aviation technologies into our existing transport system.

“New Zealand’s emerging aerospace sector is highly innovative and research and development intensive, growing new industries in our economy and building our nation’s future talent and capability. Pyper Vision is a perfect example of Christchurch’s flourishing innovation hub in action,” says Megan Woods.

“Many of our aerospace companies are net-zero or low-carbon, ensuring their impact is also kind to the planet. An important factor in the Government’s decision to partner with companies like Pyper Vision is that they are committed to ensuring the health of the environment through their operations.”

“Innovation is key to solving many of the challenges we face. Pyper Vision is an excellent example of how the Government can work with the aerospace industry to successfully develop new innovations that solve costly problems affecting people in this country and globally,” Megan Woods said.

Pyper Vision aims to test and use its technology in airports throughout New Zealand, with a view to taking the product global. The absorbent used by Pyper Vision is approved for use by the Environmental Protection Authority and meets drinking water standards.