Method of Analysis of Drone Operations and Incursion Risk at Airports is a case study by Lance Sherry, Jomana Bashatah, and Charlie Wang.

Technological advancements have made low-cost drones viable for precision inspection and surveillance of industrial and agricultural infrastructure. Given that such infrastructure often coexists near airports, which may offer less expensive land due to airport noise, airport operators seek to safely accommodate drone usage by tenants and adjacent property owners in the airport’s airspace.

This paper presents a method for analyzing the Annual Drone Operations Exposure Hours (DOEH) and Estimated Airport Drone Incursions (EADI) for airport airspace. These metrics are derived from GIS analysis of nearby infrastructure and estimates of drone operation frequency, duration, and the likelihood of incursion. A case study involving 66 Virginia airports revealed that drones operating within five nautical miles of the airports could result in an estimated nineteen (19) airports experiencing significant (i.e., more than 10) drone incursions annually. These findings’ implications, method limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Publication Date– 2022

Method of Analysis of Drone Operations and Incursion Risk at Airports contains the following major sections:

  • Introduction
  • Drone Operations and Incursions
  • Method for Assessment of Airport Vulnerability to Drone Incursions
  • Case Study: Virginia Airport (66)
  • Conclusions

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