Bangkok deploy drones to combat air pollution

Authorities in Thailand have turned to drones to help reduce air pollution in Bangkok.

The Bangkok Post reports that the city has been enveloped with a haze over the past two weeks, with levels of PM2.5 reaching 185 microgranmes per cubic meter.

12 drones were been deployed on a test mission to spray water and a ‘non-hazardous chemical spray’ 25 metres above a park for periods of 30-40 minutes.

According to Preecha Pradapmuk, director of the Defence Technology Institute (DTI), the results show levels of PM2.5 was reduced by 10 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m³) on average.

If the results continue to be good, authorities will send drones above two other parks in the city as well as areas around Phramongkutklao and Veterans General hospitals.

© Patipat Janthong, the Bangkok Post

The Bangkok Post also reported that local authorities are set to deploy two aircraft with ‘artificial rainmaking technology’ in an attempt to create downpours that clean the busiest roads.

The Government’s Pollution Control Department (PCD) recently rejected claims that some of the PM2.5 pollutants that have shrouded Bangkok over the past few weeks have come from crop burning in Cambodia.

In response, PCD director-general Pralong Damronthai said the haze in Bangkok came from local sources, including trash burning, diesel vehicles and factories.

Air pollution is a growing crisis in the Thai capital, with a rising level of air pollutants leading to stores running out of stocks of face masks to protect residents from fumes.