Dublin gets drone strategy to oversee deployment in city

27 May 2024

Image: © Kadmy/Stock.adobe.com

Some of the areas for which drones are being deployed in Dublin include mapping, inspecting dangerous buildings and emergency response services.

Dublin City Council (DCC) has published its first strategy on drone technology today (27 May) that will see the creation of a dedicated drones unit to oversee their use in emergency services and building inspections.

Known as the Drone and Urban Air Mobility Strategy 2024-2029, the plan aims to put Dublin “at the forefront of this urban innovation” according to Eileen Quinlivan, assistant CEO and chair of the drones high-level steering group at DCC.

“This strategy marks a significant milestone for Dublin City Council. By embracing drone technology, we are not only enhancing our service delivery but also paving the way for a smarter, more sustainable city,” Quinlivan said.

“Drones will revolutionise how we approach various tasks, from emergency response and infrastructure inspections to environmental monitoring and urban planning. The benefits for our staff and citizens are immense.”

According to the DCC, the strategy will inform how Dublin utilises drones to enhance public services as more and more of the mobility technology gets applied in city services to increase efficiency, reduce costs and streamline operations.

Some of these areas include mapping, inspecting dangerous buildings and emergency response services. They are also being used to access to hard-to-reach areas for surveys and environmental monitoring to provide better oversight and management of urban spaces.

Jim Gavin, COO of the Irish Aviation Authority, expressed his support for the strategy – which was led through the Smart City programme to bring emerging technologies to Dublin – and said it will “drive innovation and development” in the drone sector.

“By harnessing the potential of drones, Dublin City Council is taking proactive steps to enhance public safety, improve efficiency, and foster economic growth,” Gavin said. “We believe that this initiative will pave the way for advancements in urban air mobility, benefitting both the public and the broader aviation industry.”

One of the experts who provided DCC with guidance for the strategy was Julie Garland, CEO and founder of former Start-up of the Week, Avtrain.

“Drones are revolutionising how we think about urban mobility and public service delivery. Dublin’s strategy is a step towards a future where drone technology can improve our daily lives, enhance safety and contribute to a more sustainable environment,” Garland said.

“By integrating drones into various city services, cities can streamline operations, reduce response times in emergencies, and provide more efficient monitoring of infrastructure and environmental conditions.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic