Drones swoop down Paris' Champs-Elysees in festival

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A drone holds a box during an exhibition flight in Paris.

A drone holds a box during an exhibition flight in Paris. (Photo: Christophe Ena)

Drones are racing through central Paris — but they're not hunting for terrorists, they've just been brought out for fun.

The city is hosting its first Drone Festival on Sunday, including an international race along the Champs-Elysees. Drones of varying shapes and sizes are zipping along the avenue, lined with trees and luxury stores, in a circuit that stops just shy of the Arc de Triomphe.

Visitors watch a police drone Tornado H920 during an exhibition in Paris.
Visitors watch a police drone Tornado H920 during an exhibition in Paris.

While drones are increasingly used by French security services, civilians are forbidden from flying them over Paris without special permission. Paris City Hall authorized them for Sunday's event, aimed at introducing the public to France's civilian drone industry.

France saw a spate of mysterious drone flyovers last year over sensitive sites that worried the authorities.

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