Antwerp Port and EMSA partner for drone deployment to enforce and control sensitive and complex area
Antwerp Port and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) have partnered to deploy drones in areas that require enforcement and general controls, reports seanews.co.uk.
Port of Antwerp covers more than 120 kms and contains both sensitive and complex industrial infrastructure. The use of drones already enable port authorities to manage, inspect and supervise large areas quickly and safely and why the Port of Antwerp, in collaboration with the FPS Mobility and Transport, has concluded an agreement with EMSA.
The drone operator will accompany Port Authority Officers during their enforcement tasks to provide them with a bird’s-eye view of the situation on the ground. The images can be accessed remotely, to be shared quickly with emergency services, if necessary.
The drone will not only be used during regular checks, but in the event of incidents in order to gain a rapid and overall insight of the situation. The imagery of oil incidents will be employed also by the University of Antwerp to train algorithms to automatically detect oil incidents in the future.
According to Port of Antwerp, the use of drones will play an increasingly important role in the port of the future. As part of Port of Antwerp’s participation in the SAFIR project, extensive tests have been carried out to investigate the feasibility of manned and unmanned craft at the port. The ultimate goal of these projects is a network of autonomous drones that can provide a ‘live feed’ of its various activities.
Paul Wauters, Harbour Master at Port of Antwerp, said, “This collaboration with EMSA allows us to use new technologies in our enforcement, in order to respond to incidents more quickly and to create a safer port for users.”
Port Alderman Annick De Ridder, added, “We are doing everything we can to ensure a safe port and drones will become indispensable for this in the near future. Innovation is crucial to guarantee our sustainable growth in the long-term. Also, the port is an ideal environment to trial and further develop innovative technologies.”
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