São Paulo, January 23, 2020 – Klabin, Brazil’s largest producer and exporter of packaging paper and a pioneer in the adoption of mosaic forest stewardship, has become the first company in Brazil’s pulp and paper industry to obtain authorization from the National Civil Aviation Agency (Anac) to operate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones) without the need for constant visual contact with a team on land.
The company’s Forestry Unit, which is responsible for handling around 216,000 hectares of native forests and another 239,000 hectares of planted with pine and eucalyptus trees, has used drones in its operation since 2014. With the authorization, the drones can fly as high as 400 feet (120 meters) over a five-kilometer radius. Before, distances were limited to 500 meters from the take-off site.
According to Marino Moreira, head of Klabin’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) team, the development will result in gains for the company and for the employees flying the drones. “Our team will be able to operate with greater safety, since they will no longer have to travel to areas located near the tree cultivation areas to shoot the images. The move also will give Klabin productivity gains, given the increase in the drone’s operating radius.”
Through the new system, the forestry operations can be observed in real-time, whether by shooting aerial images or supporting the prevention of pests, disease, potential forest fires and other activities. “The authorization will increase the ownership, safety and accuracy of results during forest monitoring activities,” added Moreira.