ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands - The Port of Rotterdam in The Netherlands - the world's largest - needed prototype technology to manage and monitor unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) operating in its airspace. They found their solution from Airwayz in Tel Aviv, Israel.
While the port already utilizes UAVs to provide surveillance, inspection, incident control, combating crime and drug smuggling, the port aims to expand into other arenas, including delivery drone flights delivering parts on board a ship, or take cargo samples before the ship arrives in the port at elevations of 500 feet or less. Ultimately, the Port of Rotterdam envisions hybrid port of the future in which drones will play a role in freight and passenger transport alongside vessels, trains and trucks.
To enable this, the Port of Rotterdam has selected Airwayz to build a prototype management system. Dubbed "U-Space Airspace," the port plans to utilize it to support and stimulate beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations. The Tel Aviv, Israel based company specializes in artificial intelligence-based unmanned traffic management (UTM).
"‘Increasing the operational safety of manned and unmanned traffic in the port area is one of our main motivations for the U-Space Airspace prototype," says Oscar van Veen, head of digital innovations at the Port of Rotterdam Authority. "Improving the visibility of aircrafts, better identification of unmanned flights and the option of banning flights over sensitive locations also play a role. Airspace monitoring will provide insight into the use of the sky and make it possible to enforce regulations. At the same time, but no less important, an unmanned traffic management system will enable drone operators to offer their services safely to the ports’ clients, which is of paramount importance to us."