Spain’s road traffic authority the DGT is set to deploy 39 drones this summer to monitor drivers across the country’s road network.
The Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT) has finalised the distribution of 39 surveillance drones, 28 more than in 2020. The drones will be positioned throughout the Spanish territories and will support the twelve traffic helicopters in the traffic sector of the Civil Guards.
Yesterday the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, attended a demonstration of the operation of the drones at the DGT headquarters.
Manufactured in Spain, the drones came into use back in May 2018, but only in test mode. In August 2019 they started to be used for the surveillance and detection of infringements.
The intention of their use is to detect reckless driving and to help with the monitoring of traffic in areas that are in the high-risk category for accidents. They will also help with surveying roads that have a higher volume of vulnerable users, in particular motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.
They will also be used to monitor and support regulation in operations and special events, where a higher number of traffic is expected and to assist regular missions carried out by helicopters and supporting emergency situations that, due to their severity, will significantly have an effect on the safety of road users.
The DGT has trained 35 drone pilots and 60 personnel to handle the cameras that are used with this system.
The DGT is accredited by the State Agency for Aviation Safety as an operator of remotely piloted aircraft systems. In addition, the DGT helicopter unit is a pilot training operation for the distribution of basic and advanced certificates for piloting drones.
The 39 drones which were designed and manufactured in Spain, will be scattered across the whole of the country, except for in Catalonia and the Basque country, as these communities have transferred powers.
Each DGT helicopter patrol based in A Coruna, Malaga, Sevilla, Valladolid, Valencia and Zaragoza will have two drones each to carry out local missions. The central base in Madrid will have 15 drones covering the Community of Madrid and Castilla la Mancha and will also provide support to other regions if needed.
Asturias, Cantabria and Extremadura will also have two drones each and the Balearic and Canary Islands will have three each.
The drones all work at a height of 120 meters and their propellers allow them to reach speeds of up to 80km/h. They can also withstand temperatures between 20 and 45 degrees.
They have an autonomy of up to 40 minutes, a period after which the battery is changed and they can resume flight immediately.
Although the range of movement of the DGT drones can reach 10 km, the Air Media Unit currently maintains a line of sight in all of them that goes between one and two kilometres.
Image Credit: DGT