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4/1/16

Refugee Crises: EU maritime agency gets ready to use drones to monitor refugee boats – Catherine Stupp

European drones patrolling Agean Sea and Med
The director of the EU maritime safety agency said civil drones are most needed to monitor hotspots and detect refugees arriving to Europe by boat.

“If we look at where the so-called hotspots are in the migration issue, we don’t have the tools to monitor small boats at the moment in all areas,” Markku Mylly, executive director of the agency (EMSA), told EurActiv.com. 

“This is maybe the most acute area for drone use,” he added.

EU agencies are slated to start using drones, or remotely piloted aircraft systems, for search and rescue missions later this year.

In a new plan to save the Schengen area published last Friday (4 March), the European Commission called for a European coastguard to be fully operational by September. 

The EU executive proposed setting up a coastguard in December. Under that draft bill, EMSA will gain new powers to join the coastguard in monitoring the Mediterranean with drones.

Read more: EU maritime agency gets ready to use drones to monitor refugee boats – EurActiv.com

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