Airports worldwide are yet to find an industry wide solution to the costly challenges in protecting their operations from the threat of disruption from drone.
Industry professionals got together to address the issue at the Drone Disruption Summit held in London on October 15. Delegates heard how major international gateways like London Gatwick have “made multimillion-dollar investments over the last 12 months that have required intense follow-on work to ensure effective integration of detection and protection systems with overall airport operations”.
“This is an arms race that will never end, and we will have to test and review our assumptions over and over,” Damien Trower, London Gatwick Airport’s head of security, told the Drone Disruption Summit, organized by Kisaco Research.
Gatwick has begun actively recruiting former military specialists to strengthen the human element in its drone defenses.
“Everything changed after the Gatwick incident because this means someone had decided to stop the airport from operating,” said Charles Telitsine, project director with France’s Aéroports de Paris (ADP) group.
At Paris Charles De Gaulle and Orly airports, ADP has invested heavily in sophisticated multi-sensor networks, including 3D holographic radar, high-definition long-range cameras, and radio frequency units. Telitsine advised airport managers to conduct extensive site surveys of their facilities to ensure they can maximize the detection capability of the expensive systems.
ADP also has invested in developing its own software for integrating the various bits of equipment to allow for greater flexibility as technology evolves. The effort includes the application of artificial intelligence to support the fusion of data from multiple sensors.