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How Do Drones and Public Safety Work Together?

We're seeing more and more drones and public safety relations so let's explore the applications of UAVs in search and rescue, firefighting, and more.
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Drones are becoming more and more applied in our everyday lives. From aerial photography to delivery drones, this technology is here to stay. But what about drones and public safety, how do they fit in? Let’s talk about the role drones play in public safety and how they enhance it, even in the most difficult situations.

Drones and Public Safety – What’s the Role of UAVs?

Drones have professional and important appliances everywhere, and we hear all about them on the news. From drone strikes on terrorist cells to surveillance images taken over dangerous territories, UAVs have found a wide array of usage in military operations.

However, they are also being increasingly used much closer to our homes, as drones for public safety are becoming more and more common over the years. Public safety offices and law enforcement see many benefits as these devices help them do their jobs with more ease.

The Benefits of Drones for Public Safety

We’ve seen drones in military applications, but also witnessed how they can be used creatively. From the spectacular rise of drone light shows, breathtaking shots for films, and aerial photography made within cities, they are bringing something new to many industries. There are new applications for drone technology emerging rapidly, and here is what UAVs bring to the table when it comes to the table where public safety is concerned:

  • With the use of drone technology, firefighters can make quick, effective, and well-informed choices to increase safety by having aerial insight.
  • Law enforcement organizations can now respond more quickly, make better decisions, and increase safety.
  • Drones with overhead guidance allow emergency responders to locate targets and offer care more quickly.

However, we should keep in mind that the application of drones by public safety agencies is still in its early stages. There are still many drawbacks that have to be figured out, such as their regulations and rules, and privacy concerns.

 A white quadrocopter drone against the sky

Public Safety Drone Industry Trends and Applications

During the forecast period (2023-2030), the European public safety drone market is expected to develop at a 12.1% compound annual growth rate. The EU Drone Strategy 2.0 builds on the safety laws governing drone operations by defining technical standards for this expanding market. But first of all, let’s consider in depth their practical appliance in public safety today.

Search and Rescue UAVs

In emergencies where manned aircraft were usually used in search and rescue missions, having a more cost-effective, faster, and safer solution came as a great relief. These specialized search and rescue drones can cover greater areas than people on foot, not to mention it’s a lot easier for UAVs to avoid terrestrial obstacles and overcome weather conditions. Additionally, thermal cameras function in any type of lighting, increasing the efficacy of nighttime searches for the missing or misplaced.

Using Drones as First Aid

The most vital things when any emergency happens are time and data. The more quickly firefighters, EMS, and law enforcement professionals have assessed the situation, the sooner they can employ the resources required to solve everything efficiently. Drones as first responders can help immensely and amplify the effect of current manpower with high-tech surveillance solutions. They can provide first responders with a real-time picture of the situation before they reach the scene, so they can have faster reaction times and better decision-making processes.

Reconstruction of Traffic Accidents

The level of detail a drone with a camera can provide is unparalleled, and in the case of traffic accidents, it can provide accountability and faster justice for victims. In turn, it also means that wrecks will be cleared away much faster, further reducing the risk of other accidents and normalizing traffic in no time. A drone may quickly fly over a scene and gather extensive aerial photos, creating a three-dimensional (3D) representation of the incident. Investigators can review these images at any time to see the whole situation from several angles.

Helping Firefighters

Today, firefighters are already relying on drones to provide them with aerial shots or live feeds of structure fires. With the help of thermal imaging, these UAVs can quickly locate victims that are hidden by smoke or trapped under rubble. Drones are the ideal tool for search and rescue operations because of their superior aerial awareness and cutting-edge image capabilities. This is especially true in remote places that would take a long time to thoroughly search.

Supporting critical airport operations

Drones such as the DJI Matrice 350 are also increasingly used at airports for inspections or maintenance of equipment and installation, and therefore for safety-critical airport applications. In the past few years, drones have, for instance, become a central element for the calibration of Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) and many airports have made a substantial gain in productivity and efficiency thanks to this possibility. 

A gray DJI Mavic drone in the snow

What Can We Expect In the Future?

Drone technology is ever-evolving, and so are its applications. As we see novelty like the new DJI FlyCart 30 delivery drone or the DJI Dock, we are also witnessing increased use of UAVs by the general public but also more and more professionalism. So, what can we expect to see in the near future? Here are some of the most important applications:

  • Drone-as-a-Service (DaaS) – This will enable companies to outsource their needs for drones.
  • Rotary blade drones – These drones are capable of sophisticated maneuvers and long-range target retention. They are also simpler to operate than other types, which makes them ideal for applications like photography, cinematography, and surveillance.
  • Package delivery – e-commerce is a rapidly expanding market, and with its growth comes a greater need for delivery drones that can lift and carry light packages.
  • Hybrid drones – These UAVs have already found their applications with Amazon, as this company uses them for package delivery because of their increased power.
  • Increased use of commercial applications – Industries such as real estate, logistics, construction, entertainment, journalism, and agriculture will probably see an increase in the use of commercial drones.
  • Public Institutions: Public organizations such as hospitals, customs, land registries, and other administrations or organizations with public duties will increasingly use drones in their daily tasks. 
Black delivery drone with a package

UASolutions Offers a Wealth of Knowledge for SORA Applications

At UASolutions, we believe that the skies are a common good, and our goal is to help companies navigate the complex world of the authorization of drones. We can help you in your journey of compliance with the SORA and elaborate on the necessary documentation. Let’s work on democratizing access to the skies and create value together. Contact us, and let your drone operation journey begin.