MIRI: An aircraft equipped with hyper-spectral imaging technology should be fully operational by early next year to facilitate Forest Department Sarawak in its mission to protect the forest and wildlife across the state.
State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion said the aircraft was acquired by the federal government for the purpose of air monitoring and surveillance.
“It is not operational yet, but it should be fully operational by early next year,” he told reporters when met during a working visit to the Continuous Monitoring Surveillance (Comos) at the hangar of Hornbill Skyways here yesterday.
According to Jaul, the operations of the aircraft would be run under the department via Layang Layang Aerospace, which would also be responsible in maintaining the plan and providing technical support.
“We do not have pilots in the Forest Department, so we need those from an established aircraft agency (and this is financed) through the fund provided by the federal government,” he added.
On a related matter, Jaul commended the Forest Department for having showcased a number of innovations that they had been implementing.
“This is basically what we encourage in Sarawak’s civil service.
“Civil servants need to increase their efficiency in doing their daily tasks; thus, innovation is something that we need to encourage in them in order to solve problems that are besetting the departments and their staff in terms of work,” he said.
Jaul observed that the innovations carried out by the Forest Department covered ongoing monitoring and surveillance.
“I have been briefed about their (department’s) technologies used in surveillance and mapping, which help a lot in many of their operations including detection of illegal logging, detection of diseases and detection of forest fires.
“These are important technologies because they serve to increase operational efficiency of the department such as efficient monitoring and surveillance via the command centre without the need of physical presence on the ground – this would save time and manpower, and eventually with the data being analysed using high-technology application, it would produce outcomes that are more accurate and thus, provide the department with viable information for other activities,” he added.