Posted on May 10, 2023
In what is claimed to be a world first six autonomous drones will undertake daily flights over the port area covering a range of functions including berth management, monitoring, infrastructure inspections, oil spill and floating waste detection, and to support security partners during incidents.
The Port of Antwerp-Bruges is working with partners DroneMatrix, SkeyDrone and Proximus for the D-Hive drone in a box network which will perform 18 daily BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) drone flights that will be remotely controlled from a command and control centre in the heart of the port.
Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Port of Antwerp-Bruges: “Given the huge surface area of the port, drones provide us with leverage when it comes to carrying out our core tasks as a port authority. This drone network will play a crucial role in the further roll-out of the port’s digital twin, a digital copy based on thousands of pieces of data from a network of cameras, sensors and drone, giving a real-time picture of what is happening at the port every second.”
The port said it was the first implementation worldwide of BVLOS flights on such a scale in a complex industrial environment.
Anne-Sophie Lotgering, Enterprise Market Lead of Proximus: “We are proud to be contributing to the general safety and operational efficiency in one of Belgium’s most important economic growth engines. This newly launched network of autonomous drones will help the port authority in its day-to-day activities, for example by facilitating the detection of oil spills and floating debris or by supporting the coordination of calamity and incident response operations. It will also benefit the many companies that are active in and around the Antwerp port area in a broader sense.