Pollution-checking drones to fly over cruise ships in Spanish ports
Spain is to use drones to monitor the pollution levels of cruise ships coming into all of its ports.
The devices will start flying around the liner funnels from next year in a bid to adhere to new European legislation over sulphur emissions. Sensors will detect whether they exceed the maximum permitted level of 0.5%, which will be required as of January 1st, 2020.
There will be particular emphasis on the so-called “purple” ports of Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca which have topped the list of worst offenders when it comes to cruise ship pollution.
The Spanish Executive confirmed the drone plan in answer to a parliamentary question lodged by the party Unidas Podemos. Its envi-ronment spokesman, Equo Juantxo López de Uralde said there had to be tougher action and more controls over cruise liners.
The Spanish Government is already in talks with the European Maritime Safety Agency to carry out this work with drones. These devices, as pointed out, would be remotely controlled and, through their sensors, the gas plume emitted by the chimney of the ships will be analysed and the sulphur content of the fuel that the vessel in question is burning at that moment will be verified.
In June, it was revealed that the ports of Barcelona, Palma, Venice, Civitavecchia in Italy and Southampton suffer the most pollution in Europe due to the presence of cruise ships, and Spain, Italy, Greece, France and Norway are the countries most exposed to the pollution generated by liners.
“Cruises are floating cities with a high consumption of energy generated by the most toxic fuels that exist,” said Ecologists in Action. “While cities are prohibiting the circulation of diesel cars to reduce the pollution that their population breathes, they are giving free rein to the shipping companies, which cause large concentrations of pollutants with a high risk to the health of their passengers and the nearest populations. to the cruise terminals. It is unacceptable.”