Pittsburgh drone startup gets FAA certification to sanitize venues

PITTSBURGH — The Federal Aviation Administration has granted 137 certification approval to Pittsburgh-based startup AERAS to use drones to sanitize large-scale sports and entertainment venues.

AERAS, founded in 2020, uses electrostatic spray systems and can sanitize any venue in less than three hours.

Jim Abel, global director of business development for AERAS, said the company recently secured a major contract with ASM Global, the facilities management company for PPG Paints Arena, to sanitize for Penguins games. It also secured a large contract with Pritchard Sports & Entertainment Group, the facilities management company for Churchill Downs, to sanitize before the recent Kentucky Derby.

Abel said Pritchard has about 26 professional sports and entertainment venues it services, and he said this first contract would “open the floodgates” for more opportunities. Abel said that in the coming weeks, AERAS expects to make more contract deal announcements, including some with local school districts.

Read more from our news partners at the Pittsburgh Business Times.