In a little over four months, a worldwide audience will be focused on the Paris 2024 Olympics, which will take place from July 26th to August 11th at venues in Paris and throughout France. Security planning for the event began soon after Paris was awarded the games in 2017, and it was announced Thursday during a press conference that it will include an anti-drone coordination center.

The world has changed dramatically since Paris last hosted the Olympic Games in 1924. Although pilotless airborne vehicles existed in 1924, such as Britain’s Aerial Target (1917) and the Kettering Bug (1918) aerial torpedo, the systems were not technologically mature. They were likely not considered a security threat at the post-Great War event.

Security at any modern Olympic Games is always a high-profile topic, and the Paris 2024 Olympics are no exception. France is no stranger to non-state actors conducting attacks on its soil, with the multi-venue terrorist Paris attacks of 2015 that killed at least 130 people and wounded over 350 not long in the past.

At the upcoming games, France will seek to balance security while showcasing its beautiful cities, landscape, and culture to the rest of the world. In commenting on the security for the opening ceremony last year, former Olympic champion and President of the Paris 2024 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Tony Estanguet commented on the security for the opening ceremony, “When France organizes the Games — the last time was 100 years ago — it does so with ambition.” Estanguet continued, “It’s a challenge to organize a ceremony with these conditions but, again, it’s the biggest audience that France will ever have had, the most beautiful showcase. Our responsibility is to create dreams, to show how incredible this country is.”

During Thursday’s press conference, officials announced that the military base of Villacoublay, just outside Paris, will be the home of an anti-drone coordination center where police, gendarmerie, and army officers will work together to contain the threat posed by drones.

During the summer event, officials will monitor air traffic, including authorized drones, such as those used by the media. According to news outlets such as Reuters, security officials will have various technologies available, including anti-drone guns, radars, cameras, and radio frequency (RF) jamming technology.

General Arnaud Bourguignon, responsible for air and anti-drone protection for the Games, highlighted the dual potential of drones to be utilized for peaceful protests or terrorist activities during a press briefing.

Currently, drone manufacturer DJI’s GEO Zone Map shows the entire area in and around Paris as an “Enhanced Warning Zone.” In these zones, pilots will be prompted by GEO at the time of flight to unlock the zone using the same steps as in an Authorization Zone; however, a verified account or an internet connection is not required at the time of your flight.

DJI's GEO Zone Map of Paris- March 16, 2024
DJI GEO Zone Map for Paris- March 16, 2024. (Image Credit: DJI)


Surprisingly, as of the date this article was published, an official Paris 2024 website that contains “practical information for games ticket holders” does not have any information regarding drone use, drone use prohibitions, or recommending that visitors leave their drones at home. Searching the terms “drone,” “UAS,” and “UAV” did not yield any positive results on the ticket holder informational website. You are welcome, Paris 2024! We’ll check back later this year to see if that information gets added. Feel free to reach out and at least send us a t-shirt or something… or track and field tickets, whichever is easier.

If you seek more information on this security challenge, the C-UAS Hub Stadium/Venue sector page has some great articles, news, and security resources.

Post Image Credit- Adobe Stock by kovop58