'Drone patrol across SANParks would need 24-hour response team or alert system'

The use of drones has been proposed several times as a way to increase surveillance and security along Table Mountain National Park.

Suggestions have resurfaced following the attack on Noordhoek beach over the weekend.

Read: Noordhoek Beach attack: 'SANParks and Saps are under-resourced and ill-equipped'

Independent drone consultant Theo Pistorius says that there would have to be a 24-hour response team on standby, to work in conjunction with the drones, for the technology to be effective.

They would have to be on 24-hour standby, unless there's some trigger that can activate a response team.

Theo Pistorius, Independent Drone Consultant

It would be possible to send out the drone to look for the assailant or criminals, if someone would alert the response team.

Theo Pistorius, Independent Drone Consultant

Pistorius argues that the use of drones would not be useful for criminal profiling, but could work in conjunction with an alert system.

Also read: Listeners ask ‘why not use drones to fight fire?’ A drone expert answers…

He explains that infrared camera can be installed on drone technology to locate people using body heat.

That can allow people to spot the assailants or the people based on where they are and the behaviour. It would a allow a team to go out to where the drone sees them.

Theo Pistorius, Independent Drone Consultant

You'd have to ask for special permission [for the use of drones in National Parks]. You'd have to ask the SA Civil Aviation Authority to allow for certain parameters of flight.

Theo Pistorius, Independent Drone Consultant

None of those things are insurmountable. There have been allocations for flights within National Parks for rhino poaching.

Theo Pistorius, Independent Drone Consultant

It's a matter of financial and environmental constraints.

Theo Pistorius, Independent Drone Consultant

Take a listen to the drone expert describe the feasibility of the proposal:


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