Drones: Behind schedule, the French industry calls for a long-distance test zone

6 March 2023



The French drone industry is pushing for the establishment of a long-distance test zone for civilian and military drones, similar to those initiated in Spain, the United Kingdom, and Germany. A zone in the Cahors region is already identified.

The problem: the Ministry of Transport is not responding. The case has been on the desk of Clément Beaune, the Minister in charge of Transport, since last fall. Codename: Zeldda, which stands for “Long Distance Aerial Drone Experimentation Zone.” Drafted by a committee comprising drone industry representatives (Drones4Sec association, Parrot, EOS Technologie, Aeraccess), elected officials, retired generals, and research laboratories (Onera for aerospace research), the 50-page document, which Challenges has reviewed, urges the ministry to remove barriers to the creation of several long-distance drone test zones for civilian and military purposes.

The document recommends launching the first one in the Cahors region in the very near future. Two more could follow, one in a maritime zone and the other in high mountains.

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