PD Ports, owner and operator of Teesport and Statutory Harbour Authority for the River Tees, is embarking on a new partnership with heliguy, a leader in the commercial drone industry, to boost efficiencies and resilience across Teesport further.
The investment is the latest in a long line as PD Ports intensifies efforts to establish the River Tees as the UK’s most prosperous port region by 2050. It includes the procurement of five state-of-the-art drones designed to optimise operations and reduce risk, as well as tailored, remote-pilot training for 17 people across the port group.
Investing in the DJI ecosystem, PD Ports’ drones include the M300 RTK with H20T camera and Z15 bright spotlight and the portable Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced and the Phantom 4 RTK, a low-altitude surveying solution.
The equipment will be utilised across a variety of departments, including Harbour Police and Engineering, to deliver multiple benefits to the business, and the wider river community, including emergency response, surveillance and surveying, and asset and infrastructure management.
Neil Dalus, PD Ports’ Group Civil Engineering Manager, is leading the project and explained why PD Ports decided to invest in the new technology as it continues its journey towards making Teesport a ‘Smarter Port.’
“There are multiple reasons why we decided to partner with heliguy,” said Dalus. “They offer the best available hardware, complemented by tailored training that can be adapted to suit our people and their individual roles. By implementing the new technology and training people across a number of departments, including Harbour Police, Health and Safety, Engineering, Conservancy and Commercial, we can really boost our capabilities in a number of areas. By utilising drone technology, we can reduce the risks associated with working from height and gather better quality data to make the whole port complex more efficient. It will also enable us to further increase our security across the river, giving the Harbour Police tools to offer faster responses whilst obtaining a better, targeted view of any incidents.”
Eight Harbour Police constables have passed their General Visual Line of Sight (GVC) training with heliguy and can fly the drones safely with the rest of the team due to commence their training. This training includes industry-specific onsite training as part of the heliguy Drone Assistive Programme.
Matthew Cairns, part of the enterprise sales team at heliguy, said: “Port authorities represent a fantastic example of businesses which are perfectly positioned to benefit from in-house drone technology.
“This technology will now find its place within various departments and disciplines across the PD Ports group, and we’re excited to be assisting the team in developing that capability from the ground up.
“In approaching CAA compliance training in parallel to UAS familiarisation and subject matter syllabus including aerial surveying and photogrammetry, we have been able to maximise learning outcomes and ensure that PD Ports Operators have the best possible foundation from which to utilise the various data-capture techniques now at their disposal.”