The race was on — safely — for more than 50,000 spectators Saturday at the 147th Kentucky Derby in part thanks to Pittsburgh-based technology company AERAS. The company, which is the first and only recipient of the Federal Aviation Administration’s 137 certification specifically for sanitization purposes, used its patented charged-electrostatic drone technology to sanitize Churchill Downs against COVID-19, returning fans to the oldest sporting event in the United States.
“It’s awesome having a hand in bringing back massive in-person sporting events after a year of uncertainty,” said Eric Lloyd, CEO and co-founder of AERAS. “Seeing thousands of cheering fans enjoying the Kentucky Derby safely felt like a huge victory over COVID-19.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognizes that electrostatic spray systems create safe and effective coverage when applying sanitization solutions. With its AER-Force technology, AERAS patented a way to integrate the EPA’s preferred spraying system with high-efficiency drones, creating the only truly charged-electrostatic drone in the world, and the only one specifically approved by the FAA to kill COVID-19 and other viral pathogens.
Powered by its AER-Force technology, AERAS drones release a uniform output of small droplets to create a disinfecting barrier along all grounded surfaces. In less than three hours, AERAS can provide massive venues with cost-effective, large-scale sanitization.
The 147th Kentucky Derby was one of the largest sporting events to be held since COVID-19 impacted so many facilities and events beginning in March 2020. With 51,838 fans cheering on the run for the roses in person this year, safety was at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
AERAS was ecstatic to work with the Pritchard Sports & Entertainment Group to help bring tens of thousands of ticket holders, staff and media to safely enjoy the Kentucky Derby. In less than 90 minutes, Churchill Downs seating areas were sanitized by AERAS’ 107-certified drone operator and AERAS backpack sprayers.
“If sports franchises want to increase the number of people in seats, AERAS is the path,” said Jim Christiana, vice president of marketing and corporate communications for AERAS. “We’re excited for the opportunity to work with any sports and entertainment facility that wants to provide that peace of mind to fans returning to live entertainment.”
Established in Pittsburgh in 2020, AERAS specializes in using a patented charged-electrostatic spraying technology to sanitize arenas, stadiums, fields, and buildings by dispersing any approved disinfectant as science and best practices dictate to sanitize against COVID-19 and other viral pathogens.