Drone surveillance system at Southend airport

Posted on 29 May 2018 and read 834 times
Drone surveillance system at Southend airportA successful trial of a ground-breaking drone surveillance system took place earlier this month at London Southend Airport.

Surrey-based IPS Ltd (www.ips-ltd.co.uk) has been working with Metis Aerospace (www.metisaerospace.com) to develop Skyperion, which spots drones much sooner than previously possible and allows them to be tracked; it also identifies exactly where the operator is located, which has previously been almost impossible.

Rogue drone operations are becoming an increasing issue, with several sightings of ‘rogue’ drones per week in the airspace of London airports. Drones are readily available from High Street shops, and they can be in the air a few minutes later.

They can be difficult to spot, but if one is sighted in a critical area (such as the final approach to the runway), the only option is to stop operations.

This happened at Gatwick Airport in July 2017, leading to disruption for thousands of passengers and considerable costs for the airport.

Damon Knight, head of air traffic services at Southend, said: “We do not have any outstanding issues with ‘rogue’ drone operations here, but we have had some sightings near the airport.

"However, we recognise that there is a wider problem for the aviation industry, so we have been very involved in assessing how to deal with the issue.

“After being introduced to IPS and Metis and witnessing a live demonstration of their drone surveillance system we recognised the huge potential of the system for the whole aviation industry and so therefore invited both companies to undertake a trial in an operational environment here at London Southend.”

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