FRONTEX Announces Launch of Aerostat Maritime Surveillance Pilot Program

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency FRONTEX has announced that they will be launching a pilot program to conduct surveillance over EU/Schengen coasts using aerostat, according to an announcement published by FRONTEX.

“Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, is planning to launch a pilot project for maritime surveillance by aerostat later this year,” the announcement reads.

FRONTEX has previously tested the usefulness of using aerostat for maritime surveillance in Greece in cooperation with the Hellenic Coast Guard; the tests proved successful, showing that aerostat can be used to great success to monitor maritime activity along coastlines.

The goal of the plot program will be to use the cost efficiency of the aerostat platform and to optimize the equipment used from last year’s tests. In short, it will help FRONTEX to save money while improving the overall effectiveness of maritime surveillance.

“The aim of the pilot will be to assess the capacity and cost efficiency of aerostat platforms for maritime surveillance, as well as to modify and optimise the equipment used based on the lessons learnt from last year’s tests. The activity will also help define optimal platform dimensions, payload and capacities for maritime surveillance,” the announcement reads.

An aerostat is an aircraft that is lighter than air that gains or loses altitude by the use of a buoyant gas. Aerostats can range from vessels such as hot air balloons to weather balloons.

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