25 May 2020
National Cluster companies are prepared to collaborate in fighting fires, using their unmanned aircraft.
In a joint initiative, CEiiA, GMV, Tekever and Spin.Works (member companies of the Portuguese Cluster) intend to show that the national aeronautical industry has the capacity to respond, through UAVs, in preventing and fighting fires, in times of pandemic.
As the summer approaches, there is a growing concern about the limitations that the pandemic context can bring to prevention and fire fighting actions. Proof of this is the news that the Government authorized the Portuguese Air Force to purchase drones immediately, with a budget of up to 4.5 million euros, reinforcing air resources for the time of fires.
It is in this context that the group of companies mentioned above intends to show the capacity of the national industry to face this urgent need. To this end, they organized a real fire drill that takes place tomorrow, May 26, at the Atouguia da Baleia aerodrome, in Peniche.
“The group of companies […] represents a value chain capable of providing immediate unmanned technology, operation support, aircraft maintenance and data processing from aircraft during the entire period of forest fires”, says the invitation sent to the press. “Taken together, the companies concerned represent more than 90 percent of national exports in the unmanned aerial technology sector, making Portugal a European leader in the field of maritime surveillance”, the document reads.
The simulation exercise, which has the support and collaboration of local firefighters, will consist of a real scenario of locating a fire outbreak, using unmanned technology. The equipment to be used is the TEKEVER AR3 drone, 100% Portuguese made, which already has hundreds of hours of flight and is produced on a large scale.
José Neves, President of the Board of Directors of AED and who is also directly involved in this initiative, congratulates the spirit of collaboration between the Cluster members and the importance of this action:
“I am pleased with yet another mobilizing action by our associates, which not only promotes the development of the Portuguese industrial fabric, but leverages a set of technological capabilities with high export potential. This initiative is a clear demonstration of the vitality of the National Cluster ”, says José Neves.
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The Government authorized the Portuguese Air Force to pay for the acquisition of 12 UAVs for "additional aerial surveillance" during the 2020 fire-fighting period.