Anti-drone technology. Why it’s become essential for airports

With the pronounced rise in drone popularity over the past few years has come an extra responsibility to control the skies above us. Drone detection solutions have become important for this purpose, offering the ability to not only detect drones over a wide distance but also access a variety of potentially vital information such as controller location and drone model.

So which are the organisations that have come to rely on drone detection the most? Police forces certainly shoulder a large share of the responsibility when it comes to tracking illicit activities involving drones, but airports, perhaps more than any other type of site, have to take complete control of the skies above their locations. This is a reality which has become all the more pertinent in recent times, as drones increasingly enter the airspace around airports.

Last summer, a drone entering the airspace near to Gatwick Airport caused the diversion of five flights and the complete closure of the runway.

Aside from jeopardising the safety of passengers on board, taking up the time of air traffic control, and being an inconvenience for those who ended up misplaced or whose journeys were held up, it is safe to say that the drone disruption ultimately cost airlines a lot of money. All these issues were thrown up by a relatively small, unmanned aerial vehicle, underlining the importance of drone detection at airports.

The UK Airprox Board carried out an investigation into the Gatwick incident, as reported in this BBC article, and it was concluded that as many as 130 lives were put at risk by the incident.

Time for action

The facts don’t lie. According to Airprox, there has been a 168 percent in drone and plane near misses over the last recorded two-year period. Drones are causing chaos around airports, stopping flights, nearly missing planes and causing delays.

In December 2018, reports of drones at Gatwick Airport grounded all flights and caused disruption for thousands of passengers over a 24 hour period. Thankfully there is a solution which addresses these issues and puts more control back in the hands of those doing their job on the ground.

DJI AeroScope is a drone detection solution which plays into the hands of those keeping an eye on the skies. Drones can now be detected from up to 20km away, and an early warning allows precious time to prepare for and deal with any kind of drone threat.

The ability to identify the location of the controller gives airports the opportunity to liaise more effectively with law enforcement agencies to take action against those who have encroached on their airspace. Specific drone models can be identified, as can the actual serial number of the individual drone which has been detected. This is augmented by the stream of information which is able to pinpoint the course, speed and altitude of a drone – all potentially critical facts which could influence the action taken by air traffic control.

The portable version of AeroScope has become a popular anti-drone technology option for police forces who need to carry out drone detection on the move, but when it comes to airports, it is likely that the fixed version will see the most demand. Aeroscope, which is IP65 rated, can be left to do its job in inhospitable conditions. It is lightning protected and is designed to perform in extreme temperatures.

Air traffic control teams don’t have to be experts in drone detection in getting up and running, as official suppliers of Aeroscope, such as ourselves here at COPTRZ, offer a turnkey solution which includes everything from installation, and configuration to training and maintenance.

Aeroscope seems to be the right anti-drone product for the right market. And taking the Gatwick Airport incident into consideration, perhaps it has arrived just in the nick of time.

Watch the AeroScope Presentation

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COPTRZ can help protect your airport from the threat of illegal drone activity. Contact us or call our friendly team on 0330 111 7177 to discuss your drone detection needs.

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Comments


[…] have gotten an growing drawback in civil aviation. In accordance with Airprox, there was a 168% improve in drone and airplane near-misses during the last recorded two-year interval. In October 2018, a Virgin Atlantic B787-9 jet narrowly […]
4th January 2019

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