These 4 Municipalities Advanced With Drone Technology

Municipalities around the world are exploring the benefits of UAV technology. In a study conducted by Goldman Sachs Research, the drone sector’s fastest growth opportunity centers on civil governments and businesses. Between 2016 and 2020, this segment of the industry will have spent $13 billion on drone acquisitions.

Drones offer city planners and administrators improved efficiencies and cost savings. UAVs are becoming indispensable tools for local governments to serve in roles across law enforcement, pandemic response, public safety, and others. As public opinion continues to improve, drones use will expand to an even more extensive range of tasks.

The rapid spread of drones, internationally, has cities around the world reporting positive results in testing and application.

1. Baltimore, Maryland - United States

Initially, public opinion of drones voiced concerns over invasion of privacy and dangers to crewed aircraft.

While some of these concerns were valid, improved legislation and awareness are mitigating much of the fear people had when drones started to become commonplace. As the public’s view improves, cities must decide if UAV technology benefits outweigh these concerns. In many cases, they do.

From the city of Annapolis using drones in 2017 to access traffic patterns to Howard County’s police force’s current operations, Maryland is embracing drones. Howard County’s drone program is larger than any other policy agency’s UAV program in the state. Drones have already helped in searches and crash investigations with great success.

2. Southampton - United Kingdom

The coronavirus has had a devastating impact across the world. As scientists and medical professionals look for vaccines and treatments, the UAV community is helping to keep people safe.

The Solent Transport partnership includes the Hampshire County Council, Portsmouth City Council, Southampton City Council, and the Isle of Wight Council. The partnership has worked with the University of Southampton to test drones delivering medical supplies across the strait.

This is a pre-cursor to the Future Mobility Zones (FTZ) initiative that is due to start later this year. This 3-year, cross-organizational, multi-million pound regulation, infrastructure and technology project will see the Solent area become the UK’s first full functional “UTM,” pioneering routine Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) drone operations.

Gareth Beverley, Consortiq’s FTZ Programme Director said: “Consortiq has a fantastic opportunity to make a lasting improvement to our local area, and hopefully the wider UK. Our experience in drone operations, navigating regulations, training and software are all integral to the success of the FTZ drones initiative.”

The trial, a first of its kind, used Windracers ULTRA UAV to transport medical supplies to COVID patients on the Isla of Wight, the United Kingdom’s second-most populous island. Researchers and government officials hope to increase efficiency, decrease the transportation time for medical supplies in the region, and reduce costs.

3. Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Just like the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates is seeking help from drones in the fight against COVID. The city of Dubai has been a significant supporter of drone technology. From drones for the police force to UAV taxis carrying humans, the city has embraced the UAV industry and continues to do so in the fight against COVID.

With a population of over 3.3 million, Dubai faces severe challenges from the virus. Public spaces are potential breed grounds for COVID and of great concern to city officials. Dubai is employing drones to sanitize large areas of the metropolis.

Drones designed initially for spraying pesticides in agriculture are now being repurposed for the task. The municipality is sterilizing 129 sites across the city and 23 public areas. The operation is part of a national sterilization program aimed at curbing the spread of COVID.

4. Ensenada - Mexico

A few years ago, the City of Ensenada purchased a single DJI Inspire 1 for their police force. With a population of just over 500,000 and covering 23.58 square miles, the city is one of Baja, California’s top tourist destinations.

From a control room, municipal police can operate the drone and direct it to the source of 911 emergency calls. The city has permission to fly their drone Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) from the Mexican air authorities. Video feeds from the drone can be view by command units and officers on the ground.

After just four months of implementation, the DJI Inspire 1 yielded impressive results. The drone aided in over 500 arrests. For most emergency 911 calls, the drone arrived before police officers. Even more impressive was a 30% decrease in robberies and an overall crime reduction by 10%.

Bringing It All Together - Drones & Municipalities

Municipalities deal with complex issues and fiscal challenges on a daily basis.

In financially challenging times, such as the current economic downturn from COVID, administrators and city officials should consider implementing drones into their operations. Exploring UAV technology is likely to result in cost savings and benefits well worth the time it takes to speak with a professional drone consultancy firm.

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About Consortiq

Consortiq is a global market leader of custom drone solutions. Our employees are driven by a mission to help corporations and state organisations leverage drone technology to accelerate progress and achieve the success they desire. At Consortiq, we base our solutions on intensive quantitative and qualitative research, hard facts, and deep subject matter expertise. As a talented group of drone and manned aircraft pilots, software engineers, defense consultants, and former air traffic control professionals, Consortiq’s employees understand the intricacies of aerial platforms and are able to provide a wide range of nuanced, effective solutions. 

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David Daly - Contributing Author

David Daly - Contributing Author

David Daly, is an award-winning photographer/writer and licensed (FAA) Commercial sUAS pilot. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, David is a former Marine Corps officer with a BS in Oceanography and has earned his MBA from the University of Redlands. David has worked for Fortune 100 companies and has a background in aerospace, construction, military/defense, real estate, and technology.

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