drone near an airport (Jag_cz/Shutterstock.com/Shutterstock.com)

Anti-drone tech tests lined up for local airports

The Federal Aviation Administration plans to test anti-drone technologies to see how they perform in real-world environments.

Beginning early next year, the FAA will evaluate systems from as many as 10 vendors at the Atlantic City International Airport in New Jersey, expanding trials to as many as four other airports as it tests various aspects of those systems, according to an Aug. 21 broad agency announcement.

Unauthorized drone operations near airports and other civilian critical infrastructure have raised concerns in the last couple of years. The FAA, the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice Transportation and the Federal Communications Commission recently warned operators of commercial sites such as airports and stadiums about using certain kinds of detection and mitigation systems that intercept radio communications because that interception violates federal wiretapping laws.

The FAA plans three tests for the systems, possibly beginning as early as this coming January and extending into the end of 2021.

The first test requires the systems to protect the Atlantic City airport's 2,300 acres of territory, up to five miles out from the airport's center.

The second test will look at the systems' ability to "mitigate" drone targets within the airport's territory.

The third test will see those systems that pass muster at the Atlantic City airport sent to as many as four yet-to-be-identified airports for similar testing in those unique environments, taking into account the individual geography, noise, interference, proximity to metropolitan areas, and airport infrastructure at those facilities, according to the FAA.

This article was first posted to FCW, a sibling site to GCN.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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