The Police and Border Guard (PPA) have ordered nine ELIX-XL-type drones that they will use in their work checking the border. They are buying the drones from Estonian company ELI Military Simulations, the purchase is financed mainly out of the EU's security fund.
Head of PPA's integrated border maintenance office, Helen Neider-Veerme, said that they have been testing different drones for some time, looking for the most effective type to be used to support the border guards' daily tasks.
"Using drones is a good way to prevent and react to incidents on the border," Neider-Veerme said. They are a quicker and more convenient way to gain an overview of situations in places that weren't easily accessible.
The drones would round off the options of PPA's personnel along the border to react to border violations, emergency situations, or to conduct searches on transboundary waterbodies as well as on land.
For example, a drone could follow a moving person or vehicle for the time it takes the closest border patrol to reach them.
The cost of PPA's drone project is set at half a million euros, of which €444,450 are coming out of the EU's security fund and €55,550 out of the Ministry of the Interior's budget.
The drones are provided by ELI Military Simulations. The company develops and builds solutions for military and paramilitary training scenarios, and for the last 15 years has concentrated on unmanned aerial vehicles.
Along with the information about the drone purchase, PPA also published a reminder that the airspace along the border is regulated, and that a special permit is required to operate aerial vehicles in that area.
Editor: Dario Cavegn