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NEWS Last modified on September 30, 2013

Aéroports de Paris “intelligently” removes weeds

Aéroports de Paris uses an infrared detection system to locate weeds for targeted phytosanitary treatment of Paris-Orly’s taxiways – reducing the use of phytosanitary products by up to 98%.

The tractor-mounted equipment comprises a 5m-wide arm assembly, fitted with 15 infrared sensors.

The sensors recognise plants in under a second, permitting the ‘surgical’ treatment of weeds with phytosanitary products.

Only plants are treated and the ground around them is left untouched.

Paris-Orly’s managing director, Franck Mereyde, commented: “At Paris-Orly and all Aéroports de Paris sites, we strive to limit the environmental impact of our activities.

“This system, which was perfected by an Aéroports de Paris workshop manager, fits the bill perfectly.

“It allows us to reduce our use of phytosanitary products, resulting in environmental and financial gains.”

Weeds must be removed regularly from 150 of the airport’s 220-hectare taxiways.

The weed removal system can operate day or night and is combined with a GPS guidance system, recording to within one metre areas that have already been treated.

It falls within the scope of the Ecophyto 2018 plan, signed by ADP with the French ministries of ecology and agriculture, which provides the framework for the professional use of pesticides in non-agricultural settings.

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