The DGT Sets Out Air Support Plan

The DGT has been setting out plans to offer further support for road safety from the air, by using more aircraft, including fixed-winged planes and drones, and renewing the existing fleet.

The Director General of Traffic, Gregorio Serrano, was with air operatives in Las Palmas last week, where a number of test flights have been taking place.

The objective of the strategic development is to be more efficient in the regulation and control of traffic, which will mean important improvements in road safety and rationalisation of the expenditure, since each air operation can be budgeted according to the type of operation in question.

The plan contemplates the replacement of part of the current helicopter fleet, which are nearing the end of their operational life, by others equipped with the latest technologies, as well as the incorporation of light aircraft and drones that will operate as outsourced resources.

The test flights being conducted are part of the pilot tests that the DGT is carrying out to determine in a real and concrete way the potentiality and real applicability of new air systems in relation to the observation of traffic from the air, and the detection of certain infringements of traffic regulations, motor vehicle and road safety.

The aircraft chosen to carry out these tests, called MRI, has a series of features that enable it as a potentially effective air traffic monitoring option, as it has a range of operating speeds compatible of matching road traffic speed, autonomy and high reach, as well as the possibility of carrying image capturing equipment.

According to Gregorio Serrano, “this type of aircraft could complement the rest of the aerial and terrestrial fleet on which we count and extend the current surveillance coverage of road traffic areas for certain operations and for the control of risky behavior on the roads.” He added that “what is intended is to be more effective in terms of traffic regulation and control, which will mean important improvements in road safety”.

The choice of Las Palmas to carry out the pilot test is due to the fact that in the archipelago does not have a helicopter patrol for traffic monitoring, which is essential to preventing incidents.

The flights that are being carried out at the moment are only for testing purposes, therefore no sanctions will be issued to those drivers the aircraft capture.