Port of Antwerp-Bruges launches drone network
The Port of Antwerp-Bruges has partnered with DroneMatrix, SkeyDrone and Proximus to create a network of six autonomous drones. The D-Hive drone-in-a-box network is a world-first that makes an important contribution to the overall security of the complex port environment. The drones will perform daily flights in the Antwerp port area, Belgium, covering an area of more than 120 km².
The network will act as additional eyes to help coordinate smooth, safe and sustainable operations in this complex environment. The drones will offer a unique perspective from the air and enable the port authorities to manage, inspect and supervise a large area, quickly and effectively. The port will use the drones for a range of functions including berth management, monitoring, infrastructure inspections, oil spill and floating waste detection, and to support security partners during incidents.
The 18 daily BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) drone flights will be remotely controlled from a command-and-control centre in the heart of the port. The operational permit was built around a new BVLOS framework (known as pre-Uspace airspace), built by Skeydrone and approved by the BCAA (Belgian Civil Aviation Authority) and EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency), as an appropriate and safe framework for BVLOS drone flights.