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Drone use at French ski resort highlighted in new DJI video

A new video is out from DJI. It’s not promoting any particular DJI product, but rather the use-case scenarios for drones at the French ski resort of Val Thorens.

DJI has released a new video. But this one isn’t about extolling the virtues of a specific product. Rather, it’s about the many ways in which drones are put to use a Val Thorens, a ski resort in the French Alps. Perhaps the most obvious use-case scenario would be finding people who are lost. But, as we’ll see, drones at this resort are being put to use in multiple ways.

Let’s take a look.

Why does a ski resort need a drone?

Well, the video outlines some uses we had never considered. At Val Thorens, which gives skiers access to some 600 kilometers of interconnected runs, they have to be on the lookout for avalanches. There’s a system in place to help trigger slides, but it’s not easy to access. Enter drones, which can be used for visual inspections on even remote parts of the mountainside.

The “Gazex” system, which is used to trigger avalanches at Val Thorens

And that’s not all…

With such a large resort area – some 150,000 skiers a day during peak, non-COVID-19 times – there are other things to keep an eye on. Mudslides and landslides can happen, though obviously they’re more likely to occur during off-season. But anywhere, anything, management and emergency services needs to quickly and safely observe is a candidate for the drone solution.

Of course, there’s one purpose more critical than any other: Rescuing people.

Drones as search and rescue

In fact, it was a rescue at Val Thorens in early 2020 that appears to have been the impetus for this video. But still, it’s pretty cool to see that there are other uses for the technology.

Drones have a wide range of uses

This reminds us a major story we wrote about a few years ago. In early 2017, seven skiers went off on a backcountry slope at a resort in British Columbia, Canada. It was pitch-black out by the time a search got under way. Two guys with a thermal drone spotted many of them within minutes of putting their drone in the air… and all seven were safely (and quickly) rescued.

#DronesForGood, indeed.