The master developer of ports and industrialised zones, the Abu Dhabi Port Company (ADPC), has significantly advanced its port security with the inauguration of flying drones.
The “eye-in-the-sky” drones flew their maiden flight over the skies of the ports of Khalifa, Zayed, the Free Port, and the New Free Port, on Sunday (1st June 2014).
Sultan Al Jaberi, the Vice President of Regulations, HSE and Security, stated “The new drone cameras will be excellent security tools for monitoring, viewing and managing incidents, and will be particularly valuable in any search and rescue situation.”
He went onto add “The cameras will offer an enhanced perspective that will enable us to evaluate and anticipate any issues or future risks, offering our customers greater peace of mind and reassurance.”
This breakthrough adds to an eventful 2014 for the practice of drone usage at ports.
Sean Cassidy, national safety coordinator for the Airline Pilots’ Association of America, warned in January that the transition from pilot to drone is a problematic one.
The Californian border and port monitoring drone fleet of nine was grounded after a drone had to be downed in the Pacific Ocean because of mechanical failure.
However security isn’t the only thing drones are utilised for at ports.
Globaltimes reported in March that drones would be used for an “anti-fogging” service over the notoriously smog-covered city ports and airports in China. The anti-fogging drones, made by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, can “carry up to 700 kilograms of anti-fogging catalysts to clear up fog within a range of five kilometres” according to company chairman Ma Yongsheng.
The ADPC continues its status as a driver of economic growth in Abu Dhabi. The company looks to be solidifying its reputation and international standing after it was given control of the commercial ports of Abu Dhabi in 2006, with this drone development an example of its innovation.