The Renfe rail operating company in Spain is taking to the air to protect its trains. It has just has put to tender a contract for drone security (around 76,720 hours of flight) for a cost of 3.5 million euros.
In Andalucía, Renfe plans to use this system at its manufacturing and maintenance centre at Los Prados in Malaga, the base at Seville San Pablo and the workshops in Jerez. The drones many also be assigned to certain stations on local lines at times, such as Utrera and Benacazon in Seville province and Álora in Malaga.
The initiative, which would be in addition to present security arrangements, has two main aims: to discourage anyone from activities which could pose a risk to users, assets or Renfe personnel, and to capture images which would allow suspects in such cases to be identified.
The Mobile Aerial Units will be operated by drone pilots who will be security guards at the same time. They will have all the equipment needed to operate throughout the day if necessary. The service is designed especially for facilities near residential areas and the drones used will emit very little sound.
Renfe decided to go ahead with the scheme after different tests proved satisfactory. It is in line with the company’s Strategic Plan, which is committed to using the latest technology in its services.