The future is here: NS to use drones to inspect stations
That’s right, NS, the Dutch railway operator, is going to use drones to help carry out maintenance inspections. Remco Blunder and Sep Schetters are the first NS drone-pilots to do so.
Maintenance inspections with drones
Drones will be used to help carry out inspections on buildings, such as station halls, warehouses, workstations and bridges that are maintained by NS. These types of inspections look for cases of damage and wear and tear, like rust and metal fatigue. The drones won’t, however, be used for all inspections just yet. They will first be used on a small scale, and then this will be expanded upon at a later stage. NS only has one drone at this time and has ordered another two.
Currently, maintenance inspections are carried out using cherry pickers and scaffolding. These inspections occur annually, and are time consuming and inconvenient for passengers, as areas have to be cordoned off. Using drones removes this obstacle, meaning less inconvenience for travellers due to fewer areas having to be closed off. It also means NS employees can go about inspections in a safer way, as they do not have to work at higher heights physically.
What about your privacy?
If there are drones flying about in the station hall, won’t you be on the videos? Proper arrangements have been made to ensure that NS adheres to the privacy law. Before filming, areas will be cordoned off, and signs will be hung up to inform passengers that video recordings are being made. Should someone still manage to show up on the videos, the videos will either be deleted or, the person will be blurred out.