Sanitization drones clear way for cheering Kentucky Derby crowds

Before the 51,800-plus crowd excitedly filed into Churchill Downs Saturday to watch Medina Spirit win the 147th Kentucky Derby, a race of another sort took place: the tag-team effort of drones to completely cleanse the venue from COVID-19 viral threats before the running began.

UAS let the games begin

The company hired to pull that off was Pittsburgh-based tech firm Aeras, after it earned the Federal Aviation Administration’s (EPA) 137 certification drone use to sanitize big sports and entertainment sites. It’s one of several businesses relying on unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to help major professional sports franchises welcome back fans clamoring for live games more than a year after COVID-19 made nearly everything fun off limits.

The Atlanta Falcons led the charge last October by contracting Lucid Drone Technologies to spray FDA-approved disinfectant over its home field Mercedes Benz Stadium. As DroneDJ predicted at that time, other franchises followed. The…