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The first drone photos of the Ile-de-France urban cable car. Cable 1

We received an order from the Swiss film production company MERA FILM AG to take the first drone photos of the first urban cable car in Ile-de-France.

A first day of drone photography has been scheduled for the end of December 2023 to film the installation of the pendulum at the top of the highest of the 30 pylons of the line.

Aerial photo by drone of the installation of a pylon of the first urban cable car in Ile-de-France. The Cable 1
Drone photo of the C1 cable car - © DCOMDRONE

This cable car is under construction south of Paris. As its name already indicates, Cable 1 or C1 is the first urban cable car in the Paris Region. The purpose of this new innovative mode of transport in urban areas is to connect the city of Créteil by air to Villeneuve-Saint-Georges in Val-de-Marne by serving the towns of Limeil-Brévannes and Valenton. The C1 will be equipped with closed cabins that can accommodate up to 10 people every 30 seconds and cover the entire 4.5 kilometer route in 18 minutes. Currently, it takes around 40 minutes for users of the bus line to travel the same distance. The project owner Ile-de-France Mobilités announces an opening in early 2025 and for the moment this extraordinary project is not showing any delay.

How to find a drone remote pilot in Paris?

We asked Menk Rufibach, DOP of Mera Film AG

" We are based in Switzerland. It was therefore preferable for us to collaborate with a drone company in the Paris metropolitan area that knew the local rules and regulations. For me, it was also very important that the drone company independently organized the authorization requests necessary for drone practice in urban areas. We searched the internet and discovered DCOMDRONE which met our exact requirements."

What authorizations are required for a drone to fly over a construction site?

The DJI Mavic 3 cinema drone from DCOMDRONE ready to take off on the construction site of the first urban Cable 1 cable car in the Paris region
The DCOMDRONE drone ready to take off

When we are asked to take aerial photos and videos by drone on a construction site, we first check the feasibility of flying a drone vertically over the site. The site manager will of course confirm his agreement for a drone to fly over his installations.

But because our job is above all the production of professional images and we have long experience in the production and making of films for companies and brands, we we also check that the flight zone offers the viewing angles and distance necessary for taking photos and video shots that are both useful and varied. In this way, the director and editor have the necessary number of shots and the multiplication of viewing angles offers more editing options.

As a result, we very often look for one or more flyover zones outside the site. We therefore have new steps to take to seek agreement from owners or managers of surrounding land.

Aerial photo by drone of the installation of a pylon of the Cable 1 urban cable car installed in the Paris region
Drone photo of a pylon of the Cable 1 cable car - © DCOMDRONE

The sector may also present constraints in terms of the use of airspace. This is particularly the case in the Paris region due to the presence of several airports and aerodromes whose air traffic is naturally protected to allow takeoffs and landings of aircraft in complete safety. We must therefore take steps with the SNA-RP (Paris Region Air Navigation Service) in order to lift these bans during the time we provide drone photography. This temporary agreement generally takes the form of a protocol that we will follow to the letter on the day of the intervention. The protocol sets the date and time slot for our service as well as the maximum flight height. It often requires a confirmation phone call before and after drone flights.

Why order drone shots from a professional film maker?

Menk Rufibach, DOP of Mera Film AG:« Our request for aerial shots by drone on the C1 pylons installation site was processed very quickly and easily. In addition, other locations have been studied and proposed by DCOMDRONE so that we have a greater variety of plans. For me, as a foreign filmmaker, it is a huge advantage to have a local drone partner with a lot of experience in making professional images. I was impressed by the independent way of working and the creative drone shots. I would be happy to continue implementing projects with DCOMDRONE. »

Site monitoring by drone; safety first

We were on site early enough to have time to carry out a safety scout, validate the take-off and drone flyover zones that had been planned and discuss with the crane operator because the handling plan which defines the means implemented to guarantee safety and avoid collisions in the case of interfering tower cranes does not include the presence of a drone. It is therefore useful to agree beforehand on everyone’s intentions and actions.

Which drone for the best image quality?

Since its launch on the market, we have been operating the MAVIC 3 CINE drone. This DJI brand drone offers Apple ProRes 422HQ encoded video recording in 4K image format. The Hasselblad lens and 4/3-inch CMOS sensor offer a dynamic range of 12.8 stops. The screen integrated into the radio control offers a precise image and a comfortable size to have perfect control of the recorded plan.

In terms of flight safety, the presence of multiple onboard wide-angle vision sensors gives the Mavic 3 omnidirectional obstacle detection which ensures collision-free flights, especially in this type environment where there are numerous obstacles when flights take place both close to structures and at low height.

What solution for a full day drone filming?

Charging DJI Mavic 3 battery with Ecoflow Pro from DCOMDRONE
Charging DJI Mavic 3 battery with Ecoflow Pro

Firstly, we operate with a drone which gives us a flight autonomy of around 30 minutes. To allow us to film for a whole day, we have 6 batteries and we strengthen our flight capacity by recharging them as soon as possible on an autonomous charging station which provides us with 240v power and enough amps for several recharge cycles .  We can thus support the intentions of the cinematographer or director with complete peace of mind and not miss any of the important actions to be filmed.


If you want to know more, don't hesitate to contact us.

We will be happy to listen to you and advise you


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