Jun 5, 2024 | Featured Articles

Pictured at the launch of DCC’s Drone and Urban Air Mobility Strategy on 27 May (l-r): Philip Butterworth-Hayes, international aerospace consultant at PMI Media Ltd; Eileen Quinlivan, DCC’s Assistant Chief Executive and Chair of the Drones High Level Steering Group; Julie Garland, Founder and CEO of Avtrain; and Jim Gavin, IAA’s Chief Operations Officer.

Dublin City Council has launched its first ever Drone and Urban Air Mobility Strategy (2024-2029), which aims to transform how Ireland’s capital city utilises drone technology to enhance public services. Areas where drones are being applied within the council include mapping, inspections of dangerous buildings or emergency response.

Drones are being applied across a range of services provided across the city, in a bid by Dublin City Council (DCC) to increase service efficiencies, reduce costs and streamline operations. Services include mapping, dangerous buildings inspections or emergency response, in addition to providing access to hard-to-reach areas for surveys and environmental monitoring, better oversight and management of urban spaces.

This five-year strategy marks a significant milestone for Dublin City Council, according to Eileen Quinlivan, DCC’s Assistant Chief Executive and Chair of the Drones High Level Steering Group. Speaking at the recent strategy launch at the DCC Innovation Hub in the CHQ building she said: “By embracing drone technology, we’re not only enhancing our service delivery but also paving the way for a smarter, more sustainable city.

“Drones will revolutionise how we approach various tasks, from emergency response and infrastructure inspections to environmental monitoring and urban planning. The benefits for our staff and citizens are immense, and we are committed to ensuring that Dublin remains at the forefront of this urban innovation.”

A new dedicated drone unit, which will centralise drone operations and support internal departments to accelerate the adoption of the technology, will build on existing capabilities and resources and maximise efficiencies across the council. The unit will also play a role in supporting innovation in the drone industry by helping develop new services that benefit citizens and communities as the commercial sector grows.

Jim Gavin, Irish Aviation Authority’s Chief Operations Officer, said that Ireland’s aviation authority is very supportive of public sector bodies developing drone strategies. “We’re delighted to support Dublin City Council’s initiative to develop this strategy in driving innovation and development in the drone sector. By harnessing the potential of drones, the council is taking proactive steps to enhance public safety, improve efficiency, and foster economic growth. We believe that this initiative will pave the way for advancements in urban air mobility, benefiting both the public and the broader aviation industry.”

The development of the five-year Drone and Urban Air Mobility Strategy for Dublin City Council has been led through the Smart City programme, which supports the council in futureproofing how new and emerging technologies are applied. By fostering a vibrant drone technology ecosystem, Dublin has the potential to attract new businesses and drive economic growth, positioning itself as a leader in this emerging sector.


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