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Jack Richardson

Kazakhstan is using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to patrol and monitor illegal border movement and slow the spread of coronavirus.

The country’s leading drone service provider KazUAV, a member of Japan-based Terra Drone Corporation, has been working to keep communities safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

KazUAV has been helping the Nur-Sultan Police Department patrol the borders of the locked-down capital city.

This use of UAVs is to ensure ‘contactless’ surveillance and fast-paced operations.

“As international experience has shown, restrictions introduced to prevent the spread of the coronavirus are the most effective measures to fight it, KazUAV Development Director Dmitry Ivanov said.

“Of course, it’s hard for everyone now; it is a challenging time for each one of us.”

“But the call to ‘stay home’ is more relevant than ever in the context of drones,” he added.

Kazakhstan closed its borders and locked down cities including Nur-Sultan.

This was after it confirmed the first coronavirus case on 16th March.

The country also announced a state of emergency, set to last until 15th April.

It has adopted tough measures to combat the pandemic.

Some include country-wide travel restrictions, suspension of public gatherings and implementation of stringent sanitation and anti-epidemic measures.

All entrances and exits from Nur-Sultan have been completely blocked, mobilising multiple law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Dramatic measures

Armored vehicles, barriers, and concrete blocks are being used to man the movement from the surrounding villages of Talapker, Karaotkel (Ilyinka), Koyandy, Kosshy, and Zhibek-Zholy, on the Nur-Sultan-Petropavlovsk highway.

An additional post has been set up by the municipal government of the Akmola region in Shubary.

This is to ensure there are no cases of non-compliance by the Kazakh population.

KazUAV has been directly involved in the collection of information, operational monitoring, and coordination of actions of the Police Department and the Coronavirus Spread Prevention Operational Headquarters for all these areas.

Using UAV-mounted cameras with both visible and infrared sensors, the KazUAV team has completed hundreds of flight hours.

They have broadcast all captured data, as well as the exact coordinates of objects of interest, directly to the operational headquarters command centre.

This has led to the authorities discovering multiple bypass roads and irregularities in the locked-down area.

Otherwise, the quarantine measures could not have proven effective.

Ivanov said, “We are familiar with carrying out critical tasks like monitoring floods or patrolling important events, but this was an emergency request which needed an immediate response.”

For remote monitoring of vast areas, UAVs are one of the best tools available.

As a leading drone service provider in Kazakhstan, KazUAV not only gave Kazakh first responders access to cutting-edge drone technology.

The company has also assisted the enforcement agencies with the vast experience of its team of specialists.

They are trained to operate day and night in the toughest of weather conditions.

ESD will be covering Eastern European Tactical UAS Programmes in the next issue which will be available from 8th May 2020 at this address: