DRONES TAKE TO THE SKIES OVER KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY
FOR THE PURPOSE OF AERIAL RECONNAISSANCE, SURVEYS AND CONSTRUCTION PROJECT TRACKING
KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY, March 25th, 2018:
King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) has signed an agreement with FalconViz, a Saudi Arabian start-up company established in 2015, to provide drone services initially for aerial reconnaissance for construction surveys and project tracking.
As the system develops, drones will be used for more complex tasks, including deliveries and border security. FalconViz has acquired all perquisite approvals from the General Authority of Saudi Aviation (GACA) as well as other security approvals to operate its drones in the airspace of the economic city.
“KAEC’s advanced digital infrastructure enables us to implement disruptive technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles to increase efficiencies and open up new smart services for residents and tenant companies. The introduction of drones will open up new horizons for project development in KAEC,” said Wafa Al-Hameedi, Chief Information Officer at KAEC. “Furthermore, using advanced technologies and unmanned aerial vehicles will create new job opportunities for Saudi youth in sectors that had not previously existed.”
The drones are equipped with GPS trackers and can feed data into the city’s geographic information system to provide on-demand updates of project development and support the activities of on-the-ground surveying teams. The drones could also feature thermal scanners that can help in driving KAEC’s sustainability efforts by analyzing building thermal efficiency, as well as for firefighting and evacuation purposes, in addition to border patrolling at night and in low light conditions.
By providing high-resolution images and video feeds from remote parts of the city, the drones allow planners and construction teams to get up-to-the-moment information and check it against the master plan. They also optimize land registry as well as other municipal and commercial registration processes. Currently, there is a training program for staff to enable them to operate more comprehensive drone services in the future.
“The potential applications of drone technology are limited only by our imagination,” said Anas Dahlawi, General Manager at FalconViz. “For a Saudi start-up the opportunity to work with a project on the scale of KAEC is a great opportunity to confirm the mutli-purpose of the drones. The fact that KAEC has already installed a city-wide smart infrastructure backbone makes it comparatively simple for us to deploy drone-stations where they are most needed to support the needs of residents, tenants and city planners.”
He concluded, “FalconViz research and development center is working on improving the services provided to KAEC. The partnership will help focus on developing Saudi-patented technologies to enhance the capabilities of the drones and the services they can deliver.
About King Abdullah Economic City
King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) is the largest privately-funded new city in the world. Situated on the west coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, KAEC covers an area of 181 square kilometers of land, approximately the size of Washington DC. KAEC comprises King Abdullah Port, the Coastal Communities residential districts, the Haramain Railway district and the Industrial Valley. The city is under development by Emaar, The Economic City, a publicly listed Saudi joint-stock company established in 2006.