New kid on the block, Drone Guards, is moving into an untapped market of using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – also known as drones – to secure residential estates and other high-value assets such as mines, farms and commercial properties.
Drone Guards made its market debut at Securex SA 2019, which took place May 14 – 16 at the Gallagher Estate in Midrand.
Securex focuses on all fundamentals of the security industry from physical to cybersecurity across both private and public sectors. Drone Guards attended as an exhibitor along with 190+ other exhibitors and over 7,500 visitors.
“We were eager to see if the Securex Expo was the right platform to publicly launch our aerial security surveillance services, and we were certainly not disappointed”, said Albertus van Zyl, Drone Guards MD.
Expo visitors were particularly drawn to the Drone Guards stand where two drones were displayed as well as examples of thermal aerial surveillance footage. There was interest from security companies, residential estate management as well as SOE’s, however, the most in-depth discussions were about securing residential estates and neighbourhoods.
Securing People & High-Value Assets through Aerial Security Surveillance
Aerial Surveillance technology has been proven globally to be one of the most effective ways of protecting people & property. Using the latest technology in the unmanned aerial surveillance space, the Drone Guards service is effective in conjunction with existing security operations/systems on the ground, therefore creating a formidable deterrent to crime.
Deployment of the drone crew at locations can be covert or as part of a visible deterrent in day or night operations. Monitoring of live aerial surveillance footage in high definition, streamed to a control room, also enables visual identification of any potential crime which can then be pursued and foiled. Night operations or randomised perimeter patrols are customised depending on crime hot spots.
Making sense of the cost/benefit equation
Although the expectation in the market is that drones can be autonomously deployed and used for rapid response to crime situations, regulations in South Africa still dictate that drones are physically piloted by a certified individual. Depending on the operation, a minimum of a two-crew team e.g. drone pilot and an observer, is deployed to the site and must always be in control of the drone. This means that the use of a drone service is still relatively expensive as a result of the mandatory human intervention, and although highly desired most residential estates may not be able to afford this service.
Enter Drone Guards… The company has developed the ‘Neighbour Model’. This works on the principal of residential estates in close proximity to one another making use of shared and randomised shifts between the estates and in doing so, create a 7-day a week aerial surveillance line of defence. The costs of one drone crew are therefore shared between all the estates in the Neighbour Model. The benefits of aerial perimeter surveillance patrols, as well as response to an incident at any of the estates, are therefore realised.
Highly regulated environment
Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) must be operated safely and within aviation regulations. Private drone owners are required to operate their drones under restrictive private-use rules, whereas commercial drone operators are highly regulated under “Part 101” of the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) regulations and only once they have been issued with a Remote Operating Certificate (ROC).
The future of drones looks bright – cheaper and more autonomous drone operations seem to be the way to go. However, until the regulations have evolved to keep up with technology, it is companies like Drone Guards that will continue to augment security operations to combat crime.
Drone Guards operates as part of the UAV Aerial Works group of companies, is licensed, insured, and authorised to operate over people, buildings and roads during daytime and night operations. Obtaining landowner permission, considering privacy issues – specifically residential estates – and securing permission to fly in controlled airspace are all part of Drone Guards’ expertise.
The Drone Guards management team has more than 50 years of combined experience in aviation with the head of flight operations more than 5,000 military flying hours. Contact Drone Guards for a demonstration on your site or for more information on how your assets can be protected.