In collaboration with security company Securitas and Stichting Beveiliging Industrieterrein Moerdijk (SBIM), the Port Authority Moerdijk will experiment with an automatic flying drone. The main goal is to investigate how the drone can assist in an burglar alarm or emergency. It will also be investigated whether the drone can be used for inspection purposes.

Automatic flying

The test with the automatic drone follows an earlier project phase where the drone was controlled manually. The second phase of the pilot project will be experimented with the dronebox system of The basis of that system is an automated docking station, from which a small model drone — in this case a DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise — can take off and land. The drone is controlled remotely from a control room (BVLOS), with a certified drone pilot still watching. In the final phase of the project, the drone must fly completely independently.

According to the companies involved, the use of a drone offers several advantages. In the event of a burglary attempt, a drone can help facilitate detection, detection and arrest by means of video images. In the event of a fire, a drone can provide the fire department with useful information to support the deployment strategy. Drones can also further improve the inspection and maintenance of the terrain. Another important aspect is that drones can provide cost reductions, because incidents can be prevented and security guards less often have to pull out unnecessarily.


The project is not just about flying a drone safely over an industrial environment. Especially the integration with existing safety systems and processes is central. The main question is whether the information a drone retrieves from the air in the event of a burglar alarm or calamity contributes to the safety of the terrain. At the end of the pilot project, which is expected to last another six months, SBIM will make a final decision on the follow-up.

The port and industrial area Moerdijk has three large ports with adjoining an industrial estate. It is located on the Hollandsch Diep west of the Moerdijk Bridge. The industrial area covers more than 2500 hectares. Around 400 companies are located in the industrial area, including chemical industry and companies that store and process precious precious metals.


The deployment of an automatic drone has become possible thanks to the publication of the dronebox PDRA, earlier this year. Other parties experimenting with the dronebox system of are Rijkswaterstaat and Fire Brigade Twente. The disadvantage of the PDRA is that it only provides drones that weigh up to 1 kg. As a result, competing systems such as Azur Drones and Percepto can not be put into use in the Netherlands yet.

(cover photo: Port of Moerdijk)