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EU Border Agency Launches Talks on Use of Drones for Maritime Surveillance

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The European Union’s border agency Frontex launched discussions with industry representatives about a possible use of remote piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) for maritime border surveillance and the potential for industry to provide these kinds of services to Frontex, according to official statement.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The European Union’s border agency Frontex has launched talks with industry representatives on possible use of drones for maritime surveillance, the agency said in a statement Friday.

"This week, Frontex launched discussions with industry representatives about a possible use of remote piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) for maritime border surveillance and the potential for industry to provide these kinds of services to Frontex," the statement read.

The agency added that due to the lack of European legislation allowing the use of drones in a shared airspace, the discussions were preliminary.

They were aimed to "to explore the feasibility of extending the pool of assets providing aerial surveillance services to include medium altitude long endurance RPAS," the statement read.

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The agency added that it planned to conduct first trials of the RPAS later in 2016.

Among the tasks of Frontex are promoting, coordinating and developing European border management. The agency has been especially active during the ongoing migrant influx to the European Union, with hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants fleeing their home countries. Frontex recorded over 1.83 million illegal border crossings in the European Union in 2015. Most of the migrants are trying to reach Europe by the Mediterranean Sea.

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