Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, in partnership with the Hellenic Coast Guard, has launched a one-month trial of an aerostat and other equipment for border surveillance on the Greek island of Samos.
The aerostat pilot project aims to assess the capacity and cost efficiency of aerostat performing sea surveillance in an operational environment. The aerostat will be flown at various altitudes to test its use for effective surveillance to detect unauthorised border crossings, support sea rescue operations and combat cross-border crime.
One of the core tasks of Frontex is to identify various technologies that can be used for border control. The agency has tested a variety of technologies, including biometrics, automated border crossing gates now commonly used at international airports and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems.