DRONE USE IN PUBLIC SAFETY

In the last six years, technology has taken drones to a whole new level. Drones are now able to stay up in the air for upwards of 20 minutes and the video obtained from these drones are basically cinema quality. Drones have found use among the following; aerial photographers and videographers, a lot of hobbyists, commercial uses and public safety, police department, fire department, search and rescue teams who really see its value.

Drone flying in public.
A drone being used in public.

The Director General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu, has said that there is a need for a strong regulatory framework for the deployment of drones to ensure safety and security.

The main edge that drones have over the use of helicopters for public safety is the cost factor, the cost to purchase a drone versus a helicopter which is basically what we are replacing is tremendous. It will take only a couple of months and about $500 to train a drone pilot.

Whereas it takes months and months of training and thousands of dollars to train a helicopter pilot. Finally deployment time, a drone can be up in the air, transmitting videos under 5 minutes, it would take at least an hour to get a helicopter up in the air and in use. According to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration),”a drone is basically an aircraft operated without the possibility of human intervention either within or on the aircraft”.

99% of drones used in public safety are of the rotor type

Drones in public use.
Rotor type drone.

MISSIONS THAT CAN BE CONDUCTED WITH THE USE OF DRONES

  • Suspect Apprehension.
  • Situational Awareness.
  • Crime Scene Documentation.
  • Accident Reconstruction.
  • Search & Rescue.
  • Damage Assessment.
  • Fire Monitoring.

Drones are not used for random surveillance or spying a neighborhood. They are always used for mission specific reasons.

The above video is showing Beat Drone performing damage assessment in March 2020 at a safe distance. The deadly fire that ravaged Abule-ado community was caused by a pipeline explosion; Lagos State Government and all its emergency units were also on site helping people in the community.

On the emergency management side, a drone can be sent up in the air to get really good damage assessment information for any type of disaster.it is easier and safer to deploy a drone. They are used on the beach by lifeguards, as well as using it to drop life preservers out to drowning victims.

Their uses are endless, it is going to be a great tool to be used for public safety.

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