The haze in Beijing is so bad that it's forced pilots to land blind and officials to shut down the airport. Thus China has unveiled a new plan to test drones that spray haze-clearing chemicals around airports.
Trials for the new parafoil drones, which are drones with parachutes, will begin later this months at airports around China. One drone can carry some 1,500 pounds of smog-clearing chemicals to clear a three mile radius around the airports. The drones are also easy to control and land, which is important given the air traffic.
Parafoil soft-wing drones have an advantage over planes or fixed-wing drones. They're a lot cheaper, with operating costs at just 1/10 of those for fixed-wing drones. They can also carry three times as much weight, which means more haze-clearing chemicals per drone.
China's new plan doesn't specify what chemicals will be used, but the country has in the past sprayed silver iodide to seed clouds during drought, and they've proposed the same for the haze.
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