Recent news reporting has highlighted how drones cause airport safety and economic challenges worldwide. Airport operators continue to look for ways to reduce the safety threat of drones to their facilities through counter-UAS technology, which reduces the economic impact that confirmed and unconfirmed drone delays can have on airport operations.
Examples of recent reporting includes:
DPA International reported last week that Germany’s largest airport in Frankfurt had to completely shut down operations for approximately 40 minutes due to the presence of a drone. The drone was first spotted shortly after 8 p.m., resulting in the suspension of all take-offs. After a second sighting at around 8:30 p.m., operations were entirely halted until approximately 9:10 p.m.
This disruption led to follow-on effects on Friday, including flight cancellations and delays. While 20 flights were reported as canceled on Thursday evening, it was unclear if all were directly related to the drone incident. Some flights were rescheduled for Friday, and passengers were advised to check their flight status and arrive early at the airport due to anticipated longer waiting times caused by increased passenger traffic. The Federal Police, responsible for the airport, confirmed the drone sighting and associated cancellations on Friday morning.
According to CNBCTV18.com, On September 26th, a drone operated by unidentified individuals came dangerously close to two Indigo flights shortly after their takeoff from Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport in India. Pilots promptly alerted the Air Traffic Control (ATC) about the drone’s presence within restricted airspace. The incident occurred in the afternoon when the first Indigo flight departed from the airport.
The pilots observed a mid-sized drone flying near their aircraft. Authorities have initiated an investigation to identify the drone operator who jeopardized the safety of the aircraft. Subsequently, another Indigo plane departing from the airport reported a drone flying hazardously close to the aircraft. The ATC officials relayed this information to the Air Operations Control Centre for further inquiry.
In a report in The Korea Biz Wire, Incheon International Airport has grappled with the consequences of illegal drone activities in the past three years, leading to over 80 flight disruptions, including delays and diversions. Data provided by the Incheon International Airport Corporation, disclosed to the National Assembly, reveals that from September 2020 to July of this year, 88 aircraft encountered issues due to unauthorized drones. Among these incidents, 61 flights experienced departure delays, 19 had to be diverted, and eight were redirected to Gimpo Airport. During this period, around 28 flights faced temporary suspensions lasting approximately 15 minutes due to drone intrusions into restricted airspace.
Jeju International Airport has also witnessed disruptions caused by rogue drone activity. The Korea Airports Authority has documented two incidents at Jeju Airport this year. The drone operator was apprehended and fined in one case, while the other attempt was unsuccessful.
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