The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) has deployed a Dornier DO328-100 since the beginning of this month to help France and Belgium patrol their coasts.
According to the agency, such a decision would help authorities in both countries detect people planning to cross the border into the UK illegally, dismantle criminal activities such as smuggling and migrants as well as prevent people from risking their lives, TheSchengen.com reports.
The aircraft is equipped with a wide range of surveillance sensors, such as a marine patrol radar and a thermal camera. Thanks to its communication equipment, the aircraft can transmit live video and other data directly to the Frontex parking center where specialized experts are monitoring the situation at the border around the clock,” reads the statement published by Frontex.
If requested by national authorities, the aircraft and its crew members have the equipment and training necessary to participate in search and rescue operations by providing technical and operational assistance.
The operation on the coast began in December 2021 to prevent an increase in the number of sea crossings. The statement pointed out that this road witnessed a large number of illegal crossings.
Because of the war in Ukraine after the Russian invasion, Frontex has confirmed that it will support EU member states in organizing return flights in order to help non-Ukrainian and non-European citizens fleeing the war in Ukraine return to their countries of origin.
In addition, according to the statement published by the agency on March 11, Frontex stressed that it can charter planes or even buy tickets for commercial flights to allow foreigners trapped in European Union countries due to the war in Ukraine to return home.
The agency is also cooperating with EU border authorities to manage the wave of people fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Earlier this month, the agency announced that it had decided to send 150 officers to the border with Ukraine in order to support Romania.
This decision was announced by the agency’s executive director, Fabrice Leggerie, in a statement published on March 2. Frontex announced that more than 150 people will be sent to the Romania border along with 45 patrol vehicles and other equipment.
Frontex continues to receive a large number of people trying to reach European countries illegally.
In February, Frontex announced that a total of 13,160 tried to enter European countries illegally in January of this year.