Pretoria – Cape Town based startup, FlyH2 Aerospace, was recently awarded the prestigious OR TAMBO CUMULUS Award by Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) at their 2017 ATNS AVI-AFRIQUE awards ceremony.

FlyH2 scoops major award
Mark van Wyk receives the ATNS AVI AWARDS 1st Prize for FlyH2

The AVI AFRIQUE Summit theme for 2017 was “In Africa, for Africa, by Africa” and focused on enhancing sustainability of the African aviation market within the global arena. At the summit, the AVI Awards seeks to recognize innovative individuals and organisations that elevate the aviation industry through intelligent design of products and processes which enhance the capabilities of the aviation industry.

The programme is run by Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) which provides air traffic control, radar and navigation services to the South African aviation industry.

FlyH2 Aerospace were awarded the first prize for UAV-based systems they are developing to combat False Codling Moth – a phytosanitary pest that threatens South Africa’s $1bn citrus industry.

Mark van Wyk who attended the event to receive the prize explains “Export markets demand no FCM. This dangerous pest reduces yields, costing our farmers millions whilst at the same time threatening our export markets”.

FlyH2 Aerospace together with its engineering partners have designed and developed a complete Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) capable of releasing live sterile insects. During operation the aircraft releases live sterile FCM from custom-designed underwing hoppers. The company isin the process of patenting patenting this invention. Funds for the project development were sourced from private investors as well as the Technology Innovation Agency managed by the Craft and Design Institute in Cape Town.

“Introducing specially bred sterile moths into the wild, reduces wild populations down to below 5% whilst at the same time protecting FCM’s natural predators and at the same time protecting people and the environment from the extremely harmful effects of spraying harmful chemicals” says FlyH2 co-founder, Onno Huyser.

FlyH2 together with Citrusdal based X-Sterile Insect Technique (XSIT) is forming a new company, Greenfly Aviation (Pty) Ltd that will be servicing the Citrus industry in years to come.

FlyH2 is also developing several complementary products and solutions that it will use to service this industry.

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Mark van Wyk

Mark van Wyk is a co-founder of FlyH2 Aerospace. He holds a Private Pilot License (PPL), RPAS Remote Pilot License and for fun, a Hang Glider Pilots License too. Mark’s background includes 20 years experience in systems architecture, analysis and enterprise software development. He is the author of the FlyH2 Skyla Flight Management System. Mark is a passionate environmentalist, hydrogen fuel cell expert and electronics hobbyist.