June has been a record month for EMSA’s remotely piloted aircraft service as flights got underway in 10 different locations.
he aircrafts served upwards of 20 different member state authorities, as well ass EMSA’s partner agencies EFCA and Frontex.
Over the Black Sea, EMSA’s remotely piloted aircraft were used to assist Romanian authorities in tackling pollution.
In addition, over the Baltic Sea, around the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda, as well as over the Channel, EMSA’s RPAS were used for emissions monitoring and compliance checks. Also, over the Baltic Sea, the service was used to support Finnish and Estonian authorities conducting vital coast guard functions.
The aircraft being used has several features making it suitable for this service, including the ability to take off and land from an area smaller than 5m x 5m, flight endurance of over six hours and a range of greater than 100km. Information is gathered on board from optical and infrared cameras as well as from an AIS receiver and an automated maritime surface search sensor for detecting targets at sea.
These are a few examples of how EMSA’s remotely piloted aircraft are being in their different configurations (lightweight, fixed wing, vertical take-off and landing) for different purposes (emissions monitoring, pollution prevention and response, search and rescue) to support member state authorities both individually and regionally.
Throughout the various operations, the flights could be followed live from the RPAS Data Centre by multiple authorities in parallel.
Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) services are offered free to all EU member states by EMSA. They have been developed to help in maritime surveillance operations and ship emission monitoring, and can operate in all seas surrounding the European Union.