MUSCAT: The Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD) announced the start of experiments involving unmanned aircraft (drones), underscoring the ambitions of the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ) to harness drone technology for the growth of the SEZ.
The experiments will help mapping, topographical surveying and 3D modeling, but can be expanded to include the delivery of food packages and parcels, aerial inspections, data gathering, and so on, according to OPAZ.
The pilot demos, organised by OPAZ, in cooperation with local Omani firm Esbaar, included aerial flights Duqm Frontier residential complex with 360 degrees filming. The visuals will be automatically converted into a 3D design or models.
The introduction of drone technology will also enhance the capabilities and techniques used by engineers in construction and maintenance. Additionally, it will improve the implementation of technical operations to ensure better accuracy, productivity and efficiency.
Qusai bin Saif al Ismaili, Systems Analyst at OPAZ, said: “Organising this first of its kind demo experience in SEZAD reflects OPAZ objective aimed to benefit from implementing artificial intelligence techniques in different activities in the Zone. As well, it comes in line with OPAZ initiatives to support local companies specialised in artificial intelligence and providing the opportunity for Omani youth to develop their skills and capabilities in this field.”
Khalid bin Amer al Hajri, Drone Operator at Esbaar, stated: “We express our profound thanks to the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones for giving us the opportunity to conduct an experiment in operating drones in Duqm. The exceptional weather and varying wind speeds enabled us to identify these different conditions from the rest of the Sultanate.”
“This marks our first experience in Duqm, serving as a valuable addition to our practical knowledge, through which we were able to study the weather conditions and develop a proper work plan. The experiment was very successful as we could use two types of drones to collect data,” he added.
OPAZ has designed an 18 square kilometre area within the SEZ at Duqm for drone-based trials, experiments and investments.
Muscat-based Esbaar specialises in providing artificial intelligence services and autonomous systems.