Brussels Airport and skeyes are testing the operational use of drones at and around the airport this week.
In a secure environment, an innovative safety drone is deployed, which can be controlled from a large distance to find out how drones can increase the safety, security and efficiency of airport operations.
In addition, a drone detection system is being tested to detect unwanted drones, as these are not allowed in normal circumstances at and around the airport.
Brussels Airport and skeyes are testing in close cooperation. During two test days on 31 March and 1 April the possibilities and operational procedures of such a safety drone are investigated.
Given the large surface area of the airport, a drone can be a means of quickly gaining a unique perspective of the situation at a particular location on the airport grounds.
In cooperation with Citymesh, drone operator and partner for the private 5G network at the airport, a safety drone was tested for the first time today at Brussels Airport.
The special feature of this drone is that it can be controlled from a very large distance through the private 5G network at the airport. For this test the Citymesh drone pilot was not on site, but in West Flanders (Bruges).
There are various activities at the airport for which drones could provide added value.
During the test days, it will be investigated how the drone can be used for inspection rounds on the grounds and for monitoring the airport area, where the drone can function as remote binoculars in addition to physical inspections.
A second simulation concerns an aircraft incident where a drone can arrive very quickly to get a first impression of the situation and to be able to already pass on important information to the emergency services.
Arnaud Feist, Brussels Airport CEO: “It is important for our airport to continue to focus on innovation. Although drones and aviation do not initially seem like a good combination, this is a new reality, the possibilities of which must be explored. Today, thanks to our private 5G network, we managed to control a drone remotely, which is an innovative first together with our partners. Drones can be additional tools in our operations, and these tests will give us more insight into the possibilities.”
Johan Decuyper, skeyes CEO: “skeyes has been building drone-related expertise for a long time. We often work on real-life test projects. This was a first test in our ‘natural habitat’: an airport environment. These test days have already shown that drones can also be put to very good use here. We want to explore the possibilities as much as possible together with our airport partners. But of course always with our first concern in mind: the safety of the whole of all air traffic.”