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Finnish authorities actively using EMSA’s remotely piloted aircraft to support vital coast guard tasks over the Baltic Sea

Image credit: Finnish Border Guard

The Finnish Border Guard will be using EMSA’s remotely piloted aircraft services over the coming weeks from the base of Hanko to provide increased situational awareness for an array of different operational tasks in areas such as search and rescue, maritime safety and security, customs and border control, environmental protection and general law enforcement at sea

Modern surveillance technology has much to offer governmental authorities working in the maritime domain and the Finnish Border Guard intends to make the most of EMSA’s remotely piloted aircraft, both directly and in cooperation with other national authorities. While the flights will be performed in Finnish airspace, mission planning and data is also being coordinated and shared with both Sweden and Estonia. Part of EMSA’s regional RPAS service, this collaboration will allow the countries involved to create a common maritime picture and where appropriate to respond in close coordination with each other.

The aircraft being used is a CAMCOPTER® S100 model and it is under contract to EMSA from Schiebel Aircraft GmbH. It has several features making it suitable for this service, including the ability to take off and land from an area smaller than 5m x 5m, flight endurance of over six hours and a range of greater than 100km. Information is gathered on board from optical and infrared cameras as well as from an AIS receiver and an automated maritime surface search sensor for detecting targets at sea.