Sunday, May 26, 2024

Tauranga company joins predator control done trial

A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) and Tauranga-based Envico Technologies in preparation for a trial which will field test the use of predator control drones for conservation.

Envico is the third industry partner to join the Government’s Airspace Integration Trials Programme, which supports world-leading aerospace companies to carry out the development, testing and market validation of advanced drones in New Zealand.

“One of the Programme’s goals is to accelerate the integration of drones into New Zealand airspace, in order to unlock the economic and social benefits on offer,” MBIE said in a statement.

“Industry partners like Envico will also help to inform policy and regulatory development by sharing data and learnings obtained from the testing of their innovative platforms.”

The partnership with Envico adds to the work being undertaken by other industry partners in the Airspace Integration Trials Programme in the areas of passenger transport and high-altitude imaging, demonstrating the depth and breadth of New Zealand’s growing drone sector.

MBIE said Envico had a strong track record in predator control using drones, including the eradication of rodents on two islands in the Galapagos in 2019.

“In 2020, they were the recipients of a Department of Conservation grant, enabling them to begin a series of field trials using drones for dispersal of non-toxic cereal baits.”

“In order to scale up operations for these trials, Envico is developing a new, larger aerial baiting drone, converting a small helicopter to enable remotely piloted operations.

“We’re eager to see Envico’s progress as they continue development of their predator control drones in New Zealand, especially with a project that will help protect Aotearoa’s flora and fauna from invasive species,” MBIE said.

Read more about the Airspace Integration Trials Programme(external link)

Read more about Envico Technologies on their website(external link)

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