Unique Perspective of Port Activities

port container vessel

This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)

The fact that drones can fly at high altitudes and are equipped with powerful cameras enables them to fulfill various tasks, including port observation. The Port of Antwerp has recently carried out unique trials involving a ‘fixed-wing’ drone providing images of realistic incident scenarios.

The port of Antwerp is over 120 km² in size and forms part of Belgium’s critical infrastructure. Thanks to the unique views they provide from the air, drones can make a significant contribution to overall safety within this complex environment. 

A fixed-wing drone can fly around for more than eight hours and take pictures with a very powerful camera (30x zoom) from a height of 280 meters. 

The Port tested out various use cases. The images recorded by the unmanned aircraft of four realistic emergency situations (a container fire, the rescue of a person in distress on top of a windmill, the rescue of a drowning person and the rescue of a man overboard), will provide an insight into the possibilities of using unmanned aircraft of that sort within the port environment.

According to the Port of Antwerp, the use of drones will play an increasingly important role in the port of the future and as a means of maintaining safety. 

According to the local aerospace company Sabca, the testing demonstrates that various operations can be made safer and more efficient by using unmanned aircraft. 

The types of tasks that can be performed include inspecting infrastructure, surveillance and monitoring, incident management, and the detection of oil spills or floating waste.

The trials using the fixed-wing drone were carried out in close cooperation with the port’s safety partners so that the experience gained in incident management can lead to even more efficient collaboration, according to hellenicshippingnews.com.