2018 Results: Dedrone UK Airport Counter-Drone Study
Dedrone, an airspace security company, conducted a study at four UK airports tracking drone activity in 2018. With 285 drones detected over a 148-day period (just under 2 per day), the study concluding with three key learnings and next steps: “1. the problem of unauthorized drones at airports is real, not anecdotal: Drones have appeared and disrupted UK airports in the past year, causing loss of revenue due to closed runways. Drone pilots fly a broad spectrum of technology from different drone manufacturers, and detection technology must be able to capture all drone activity: Drone detection systems must be able to detect all kinds of drones, regardless of the manufacturer. While DJI is the global market leader in drone technology by sales, they only represent 44% of the incursions at the airports studied. 3. UK drone pilots come out to fly at airports around the same time and days, and airports can strategically prepare for increased incursions during these period: The majority of the incursions occurred on weekend afternoons when drone hobbyists may be flying drones to capture footage for personal use.” Finally, it is important to recognize that “all drones near airports are a threat, regardless of the pilot’s intentions.” 2019 will certainly be a year for the integration of drone detection and threat prevention policies for airports.