Paris hosts Drone Festival on the famous Champs Elysees and announces new drone parks


Paris hosted its first ever drone festival on Sunday 4 September 2016. Some 100,000 spectators crowded onto the famous Champs Elysées to watch eight professional drone pilots race drones on a 3,000m2 track.

All the action was broadcast live online and the event attracted considerable media interest from French and foreign media outlets including TV, print and radio.

The competition was won by Luke Bannister, a 16-year-old British youngster who is recognised as one of the leading lights in the discipline. One woman took part, Julie Muller, 27, from Germany.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo was also there. She announced that the city would soon open dedicated drone parks, where drone flying will be under the control of the French Federation of Aeromodelism.

Organised with partners that included the European Rotor Sports Association (ERSA) and the French Federation of Aero Modelling (FFAM), the festival was the first of its kind and was aimed at educating the public about what drones can do. The racing took place on Sunday afternoon, when the normally busy street is typically reserved for pedestrians only.

The afternoon racing saw drone racers go head-to-head in a series of heats, flying their drones through a race track set out along the Champs Elysées. In a drone race competitors must pilot their drone through hoops and around turnpoints, flying the remote-controlled vehicles using a headset to see where they are going.

Other partners included: ERSA, FFAM, Comité Champs Elysées, French Federation of Civilian Drones, Le Groupe La Poste, Yuneec Electric Aviation, and I-Tele.