Airport PAPI Calibration


PAPI Calibration at Paris-Le Bourget


Business airport


Safe-T Tether


Hours flight


Light detections


Hour check time




The Groupe ADP is the French airport authority which builds and manages airport platforms among which Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly and Paris-Le Bourget. In 2016, Paris Aéroport has welcome more than 97 million passengers in Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly, 2.2 million tons of freight and mail and more than 42 million passengers through abroad airports thanks to its subsidiary ADP Management. Paris-Le Bourget remains today the leading business airport in Europe.

The Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) is a 4 light units block located beside landing runways, that provides visual guidance information to pilots for acquiring and maintaining a safe and accurate glide slope on final approach. Placed perpendicular to the runway approach path, generally on the left side, each PAPI unit fits a row of lights emitting red light below a certain angle, and white light over. This instrument can have an effective visual range up to 3 miles during the day and up to 20 miles at night.

To maintain operational conditions and precision of the system, projected maintenance is carried-on using for instance flying machines or elevating work platforms. Blocking off the access to the runway, PAPIs checking is made by simulating sinusoidal approaches to verify threshold angles and ensure compliance with regulations. On the down side, the airport necessarily shuts down the runway, consuming up-time, imposing complicated logistics and taking risks by deploying operators in the air and on the runways.

For achieving this aeronautical maintenance task, Groupe ADP deployed the Elistair tethered drone solution: the Safe-T station. Tethering an hexacopter carrying a x18 zoom handy-cam digital camera, this configuration permits an easy, safe and fast deployment within the airport.