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UK government funds 18 projects to develop anti-drone technologies ZDNet

#artificialintelligence

The UK government has approved £2 million ($2.57 million) worth of funding for 18 projects that will develop anti-drone and drone detection technologies. The funding comes part of a competition held by the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) program under the UK's Ministry of Defence (MOD). MOD officials approved funding earlier this year, in April, after a series of amateur drone incursions froze air travel at several airports across the UK. Infamous is a three-day incident at the Gatwick Airport in London just before Christmas last year, and another day of flight cancellations in January, at Heathrow, London, one of the world's largest airports. In April, MOD, through DASA, asked the private sector for solutions to detect and neutralize "small UAS (unmanned aerial system) threats."


Pilots can't spot drones 70 per cent of the time - shock experiment reveals

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Pilots can't spot drones as they approach a runway, warns a shock new study. They fail to catch sight of the flying gadgets 70 per cent of the time - even when they are in their airspace, according to the findings. And they almost never identify the machines if they are hovering motionless above the ground. The disturbing findings uncover a'real and present danger' to safety, warn US aviation experts. Study co author Dr Ryan Wallace, of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the United States, said: 'Dangerous close encounters between aircraft and drones are becoming an increasingly common problem.


Airports begin to fight back against rogue drones with anti-incursion systems

FOX News

An estimated 7 million drones will be flying in the skies by 2020; Claudia Cowan reports on the new technology being developed to keep airports safe. But some people either don't care or use drones to intentionally disrupt airport operations. Last December, drone sightings at London's Gatwick Airport forced a three-day shutdown, and canceled flights left thousands of stranded passengers scrambling. No one has been arrested in the case, and this past April, investigators said it could have been an inside job. In recent months, suspected or confirmed drone activity has grounded flights in Dubai, New Zealand, Israel, and at Newark Airport in New Jersey.


Flights delayed as drones fly near East Midlands airport

The Guardian

Detectives have launched an investigation after three drones disrupted flights at an airport during a nearby music festival. Leicestershire police said a pilot of one of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) had been interviewed by officers after it was reported to police at 9.30am on Saturday near the Download festival at Donington Park. Two further drones were reported inside the restricted airspace at East Midlands airport at midnight and on Sunday at 1.30pm. Flights were delayed at the airport as a result of the drones. Police said they had carried out inquiries in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Authority and East Midlands airport.


Extinction Rebellion considers using drones to shut London's Heathrow Airport

The Japan Times

LONDON - Climate activists from Extinction Rebellion have drawn up plans to use drones to shut London's Heathrow Airport this summer in a campaign to stop the construction of a third runway at Europe's busiest airport, the group said. The internal proposal, seen by Reuters, emerged against a backdrop of renewed campaigning by environmental groups who argue that expanding Heathrow would be incompatible with Britain's targets to curb greenhouse gas emissions. "On June 18, we plan to carry out nonviolent direct action to ensure Heathrow Authorities close the airport for the day, to create a'pause' in recognition of the genocidal impact of high carbon activities, such as flying, upon the natural world," Extinction Rebellion said in a statement late on Thursday. "This is not about targeting the public, but holding the Government to their duty to take leadership on the climate and ecological emergency," the group said. Heathrow Airport said the use of drones would be a "reckless action."


Gatwick drone attack could have been inside job, say police

The Guardian

The drone attack that brought Gatwick airport to a standstill last December could have been an "inside job", according to police, who said the perpetrator may have been operating the drone from within the airport. Sussex police told BBC Panorama that the fact an insider may have been behind the attack was "treated as a credible line of enquiry from the earliest stages of the police response". Gatwick's chief operating officer, Chris Woodroofe, believes the perpetrator was familiar with the airport's operational procedures and had a clear view of the runway or possibly infiltrated its communication network. "It was clear that the drone operators had a link into what was going on at the airport," he told Panorama, in his first interview since the incident. He said the culprit had carefully picked a drone that would remain undetected by the airport's DJI Aeroscope detection system being tested at the time.


Gatwick drone attack possible inside job, say police

BBC News

The drone attack that caused chaos at Gatwick before Christmas was carried out by someone with knowledge of the airport's operational procedures, the airport has said. A Gatwick chief told BBC Panorama the drone's pilot "seemed to be able to see what was happening on the runway". Sussex Police told the programme the possibility an "insider" was involved was a "credible line" of inquiry. About 140,000 passengers were caught up in the disruption. The runway at the UK's second busiest airport was closed for 33 hours between 19 and 21 December last year - causing about 1,000 flights to be cancelled or delayed.


DJI updates geofencing system in Europe after Gatwick airport scare

Engadget

Drone manufacturer DJI announced today that it is updating the geofencing system it uses in Europe to prevent drone pilots from flying the unmanned aircraft in places where they don't belong. The updated Geospatial Environment Online (GEO) 2.0 system will be introduced in 19 European countries and is expected to roll out over the course of this month. According to DJI, the GEO 2.0 system creates stronger boundaries around airports to keep drones from interrupting flight plans. It will place 3/4th of a mile boundaries around runways and will fence off flight paths at the end of the runway where planes take off and land. The geofenced boundaries are based on recommendations from the Civil International Organization's standards for airspace safety.


FAA details impact of drone sightings on Newark airport

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON - The Federal Aviation Administration said on Wednesday that 43 flights into New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport were required to hold after drone sightings at a nearby airport on Tuesday, while nine flights were diverted. The incident comes as major U.S. airports are assessing the threat of drones and have been holding meetings to address the issue. The issue of drones impacting commercial air traffic came to the fore after London's second-busiest airport, Gatwick Airport, was severely disrupted in December when drones were sighted on three consecutive days. An FAA spokesman said that Tuesday's event lasted for 21 minutes. The flights into Newark, the 11th-busiest U.S. airport, were suspended after a drone was seen flying at 3,500 feet over nearby Teterboro Airport, a small regional airport about 17 miles (27.3 km) away that mostly handles corporate jets and private planes.


Heathrow: Man charged with flying drone near airport

BBC News

A man has been charged with flying a drone near Heathrow Airport on 24 December. George Rusu is accused of using a drone on a field near the runway just days after a scare at Gatwick grounded more than 1,000 flights. He has been charged with flying a "small unmanned aircraft without permission of air traffic control". Mr Rusu, 38, from Hillingdon, will appear at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court on Tuesday. The alleged incident happened just three days after Gatwick Airport fully reopened on December 21, following three days of chaos affecting about 140,000 passengers.