Safety and security to get a boost in port's complex environment
The Port of Antwerp and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) have joined forces to deploy drones to support enforcement and control operations in the 120 sq kms of the Antwerp port area.
A drone pilot will accompany Port Authority Officers during their enforcement tasks, and provide them with a bird's-eye view of the situation on the ground.
The images can also be accessed remotely, so they can be shared quickly with emergency services if necessary. Privacy is paramount here: the images are only used for monitoring purposes and are not stored.
The drone will not only be used during regular checks, but also in the event of incidents in order to gain a quick insight into the situation. The imagery of oil incidents will also be used 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 already been carried out to investigate the feasibility of manned and unmanned drones at the port.
The ultimate goal of these projects is a network of autonomous drones that can provide a ‘live feed’ of the various port activities, in the context of a smart, safe and efficient port.
Port of Antwerp alderman Annick De Ridder said: “We are doing everything we can to ensure a safe port and drones will become indispensable for this in the near future, including at our port.
"Innovation is crucial to guarantee the sustainable growth of our port in the long term. This collaboration also confirms that the port is the ideal environment in which to test and further develop innovative technology.”