Ministry announces pilot scheme Greece to use drones to control Immigration


The Greek government is about to use a drone to oversee its sea borders in the Aegean, one the of main avenues for immigration into the EU, in a pilot project. Athens’ Ministry of Shipping has issues a competition call for a drone that, according to the competition rules, has to be handed over to the authorities by the end of June.

Greece’s Shipping Minister, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis recently revealed that the country is receiving around 1,000 immigrants a month through the eastern Aegean Sea. Immigration flows have intensified in the Aegean since Greece put up a fence to close off its land border with Turkey alongside the river Evros in the northeast of the country. Immigration flows have also been affected by the deteriorioration of conditions in Syria.

As a result, in 2013 the number of immigrants making it into EU ground through the Aegean more than tripled to around 10,000 people, and is expected to further rise this year.

The budget for the drone has been set at €77,800. The unmanned aircraft is expiated to fly a total of 60 hours in the first two months.

According to Athens’ specifications it will have to be equipped with day and night gyroscopic cameras, be able to transmit the geographic location of the target is is following, fly at least 50 kilometres way from its control centre, at a height of 200 to at least 20,000 feet and have a speed limit that exceeds 70 kilometres per hour.

It has to be fairly difficult for smugglers to locate, the ministry wants to aircraft to have a “low sound and optical trace.” (in english)