Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 500

  Commentary FEDNAV PIONEERS THE USE OF DRONES IN POLAR SHIPPING Pascale Bourbonnais In March 2014, Fednav became the first shipping company to employ drones, or Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV), for ice reconnaissance on a commercial voyage. The Umiak I, one of Fednav’s three powerful icebreaking bulk carriers, used a variety of video-equipped drones to scout ahead of the vessel in the ice-covered waters of the Labrador Coast. The goal was to provide the captain and officers with detailed real-time visual information on the local ice conditions. Fednav Limited is a Montreal-based international shipping company. Its principal activities include the transport of bulk and general cargo worldwide. Since the Company’s very early days, the Arctic has played a vital role in Fednav’s success. Fednav in turn, has played a pivotal role in the development of innovative transportation solutions for the harsh Arctic conditions. As such, the company is widely recognized in Canada and internationally as a pioneer in Polar shipping. Enfotec, a Fednav subsidiary and industry leader, has for more than 20 years specialized in providing advanced ice imagery and analysis to vessels operating in difficult ice conditions. Enfotec is also the developer and distributor of IceNav™, a shipboard navigation system used by many types of vessels Pascale Bourbonnais is Ice Analyst, Enfotec, at Fednav.