Frontex started to test drones to monitor the borders of the EU

© AFP 2018 / Gerard CerlesФлаг EU headquarters of the European Union in Brussels, archival photoFrontex started to test drones to monitor the borders of the EU© AFP 2018 / Gerard Cerles

The European Agency of border control Frontex started to test unmanned aerial vehicles for border surveillance, said in a statement.

«This week, Frontex has started testing the use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in Greece, Italy and Portugal for monitoring the external borders of the European Union», — stated in the message.

The Agency will test unmanned aerial vehicles, «in several operating situations.» These include monitoring of the sea, support search and rescue operations, the detection of vessels suspected of criminal activities such as smuggling of drugs and weapons, the exchange of information with multiple users in real time.

In Greece the test process, which began this week, supported by the Greek coast guard in cooperation with the civil aviation authority of Greece and the air force. In Italy, tests which are in the last stage of preparation, will be held with the support of the police.

The aviation system that tests Frontex, equipped with surveillance equipment including thermal imaging and radar. Testing in Greece and Italy is planned to be completed this year.

In Portugal, the Agency uses the unmanned aerial vehicles of smaller size for viewing the Northern Atlantic ocean and sharing this information in real-time. This option allows faster response to cross-border crime, especially drug smuggling, said the organization.