Rotterdam expands drone trials


The Port of Rotterdam is trialling new types of drones supporting staff in their work.

The trials, supporting inspectors and shipping masters, deploy the newest model of Dutch drone manufacturer Avy: the Avy Area 3.

The drone takes off automatically from a docking station installed at the Rotterdam-Rijnmond Pilotage Service at Pistoolhaven.

The trials are focused on sea-going and inland shipping inspections by the Harbour Master’s Division on bunkering, water pollution, ship-to-ship transfer, zoning for hazardous substances, shore-to-ship transfer, air pollution (smoke or soot), and repairs on board vessels.

If the drone detects an open tank filler cap, this might be an indication of illegal degassing by the vessel and call for taking a closer look.

READ: AD Ports dips toe into aerial drone delivery market

The drone has a wing span of 2.40 metres, a cruise speed of 90 kilometres per hour, and a 95-kilometre range at low energy consumption.

Two or three drones would suffice to cover the entire port area and have a drone over the spot quickly when an incident occurs. Additionally, this drone can carry small cargoes of up to 3 kilos, such as refrigerated medical supplies, vessel parts, or cargo samples.

Earlier this week the Port Authorities of Rotterdam and Gothenburg signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the realisation of a Green Corridor to support sustainable shipping.

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