In the early morning of the 28th of November, six Air Arabia flights bound for the Sharjah International Airport were diverted to Ras Al Khaimah due to suspected drone activity in the airport area.
Operations resumed shortly thereafter, but this is not the first time such an issue arises. Just last September, Dubai’s International Airport was briefly closed for the same reason, and two flights had to be diverted to nearby airports. The same had happened back in February.
However, when drones are flying nearby airports, traditional protections may not be sufficient to adequately monitor and detects UAVs, and consequently prevent possible incidents. This is why DJI has introduced Aeroscope, an innovative and comprehensive drone detection platform that is able to identify the most popular drones on the market today. Aeroscope gathers information such as flight status, paths and other monitoring data in real time.
Drones near airports
The risk of drones flying near airports is certainly widespread, with news reporting momentary shutdowns in several cities. In June operations at Singapore’s Changi Airport were suspended due to drone sightings, in January Heathrow Airport had to briefly close its runway. The event that caused the most buzz was certainly the shutdown of London’s second airport, Gatwick, during the holiday period in 2018. The airport closed for a whopping 36 hours, with over 1000 planes blocked and an estimated 140 000 travellers affected.
Drones can pose some threats to airlines in the case of mid-air collisions. Drones with a weight of around 2kg could damage an airplane’s windshield, an event that could prove to be fatal. Even a smaller 1kg drone could cause major damage to an aircraft’s wing in the case of collision at speeds of more than 300km/h.
The FAA (Federal Avian Administration in the USA) has produced several reports determining the severity of UAVs mid-air collisions with aircrafts.
In the UAE, drone regulations are established by the GCAA, while in the Dubai Emirate, the DCAA is responsible. Drone use is forbidden within a 5km radius of airports, and a minimum distance of 10km must be kept from takeoff and landing paths.
All airports should definitely start thinking about investing in solutions to prevent these accidents from happening.
The DJI Geo System
DJI offers a GEO system that delineates where it is safe to fly a drone, where flight may raise concerns and where flight is restricted (such as around airports, power plants and prisons). It provides DJI users with guidance so that they may make smart decisions about where and when to fly. GEO limits flights into or taking off within zones that pose a security threat.
Zones are classified according to a specific classification system into various types:
- Restricted zones: flight is prevented, users are prompted with a warning.
- Altitude zones: flight altitude is limited, users receive a warning.
- Authorization zones: flight is limited by default; they may be unlocked by authorized users using a DJI verified account.
- Warning zones
- Enhanced warning zones
- Densely populated area
- Regulatory Restricted zones: flights are prohibited due to local regulations and policies
- Recommended flight zones
However, when drones are flying nearby airports, traditional protections may not be sufficient to adequately monitor and detects UAVs, and consequently prevent possible incidents.
The DJI Aeroscope Stationary Unit
The Aeroscope Stationary Unit is the ideal solution for the protection of large-scale sites. The system is customizable depending on user demands in order to completely cover the surrounding airspace. It can monitor and area of up to 50km and obtain information regarding drones within a few seconds.
It is possible to integrate the system with existing security systems in order to provide a seamless user experience and have all data gathered in one place: the Aeroscope Backstage Management System. This platform provides central monitoring, command and investigation tools, and can integrate data collected from previous flights for in-depth analysis.
DJI is committed to creating a safe public airspace and finding the best possible solutions for each client.
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