Austria has begun testing drones on its borders to Hungary and Slovenia. Equipped with live-tracking and heat-sensing cameras, the drones will be used to detect the movements of smugglers and irregular migrants.

In Austria, police will use drones to help them monitor irregular movement on the borders to Hungary and Slovenia, the interior minister Karl Nehammer announced this week.

“In the future, the drones will provide significant support to the work of the police,” said Nehammer in Nickelsdorf on the Austria-Hungary border on Wednesday.

Equipped with high-resolution cameras, live-tracking and heat-sensing cameras, the robots are intended to help police combat people smuggling and to detect irregular border crossings.

Nehammer said it was also about deterrence through denser border controls. Up to 1,000 police and 2,200 soldiers are currently deployed along the 700-kilometer border with Hungary and Slovenia, the Austrian interior ministry said.

Over 10,000 irregular entries

According to the interior ministry, around 10,400 cases of irregular entry or overstay were reported throughout the country in the first seven months of this year. There were 6,600 applications for asylum.

Since the creation of the Schengen area, which includes 26 European countries, there are no longer permanent border controls within the zone.

Austria, Germany and several other European countries, however, have imposed temporary internal border controls that continue to be extended.


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