PSSA Newsletter - Issue 29

– 12 – Newsletter sponsor: NEWS  |  ISSUE 29 MEMBER NEWS Bring on the Drones The Growing Need for Airspace Security at Airports and Critical Infrastructure Facilities By Amit Samani, Vice President of Americas & UK, Dedrone In 2020, COVID shutdowns accelerated use-cases for drones, and with more drones in the skies, come more exposed vulnerabilities. The airspace security market, two years ago, was in its infancy. Today, airspace security datasets show an over 100% increase in unauthorized drone activity since the start of the COVID-19 shutdowns beginning in March. In 2021, drone usage will continue to rise exponentially, pushed by the impacts of COVID-19. Drones are coming to work in increasing numbers. Facility security leaders are looking to use drones to prevent more workers from coming onsite – putting drones to work for inspection, delivery, surveillance. These numbers of drones coming to work will only rise and will become a permanent fixture for organizations moving forward. This past year, we have observed new drones come to market, and this technology is becoming more readily available on the commercial market and more attractive to buy. They are less expensive, able to fly longer, and with greater payloads. Drone pilots may not be aware of airspace restrictions, or maliciously circumvent them. The security implications of unauthorized drones, from unintentional airspace interference, or espionage, terrorism and contraband delivery, will only persist and escalate in the years to come. Two years ago, in December 2018, Gatwick Airport shut down due to an unidentified drone. Passengers were stranded, operations halted, and investigations proved fruitless in determining the perpetrator and motive. Drone events continued to happen at airports at the height of international travel – causing countless delays over the years. This past year, airports have seen a significant decline this year in passenger traffic due to the effects of COVID-19, however, the unwanted drone issue remains. In 2020, Newcastle International Airport took charge of this concern, understanding that it must advance its operations to meet one of today's most pressing airport safety and security challenges, ensuring a safe environment for aircraft and passengers alike. With over 5.5 million passengers flying through Newcastle Airport in 2018, the airport sought to prevent any drone incursions and ensure plans to grow its global footprint were not disrupted by unwanted airspace activity. By installing airspace security technology, Newcastle Airport is able to first clearly understand and define its risk from drone incursions before putting together a response protocol. The airport approached Dedrone to install Dedrone’s airspace security technology to safeguard its passengers and operations against unwanted drones. With Dedrone, Newcastle Airport now understands drone usage, including the location of any nearby drone activity, the types of drones flown and which times of day they appear. Newcastle Airport now has a standard response protocol in the event there is a drone incursion. With this situational awareness, Newcastle Airport can prepare for, rehearse their drone intervention response, and prevent disruption should a drone approach critical operation. Drones are here to stay – and they will continue to be used to help and solve problems, improve operations, but also, in the wrong hands – continue to disrupt. Drone disruptions aren’t new, but more people are realizing how easy it is to cause damage and harm to a facility, and how impactful these drone events are to business continuity and reputation. Amit Samani is the Vice President of Americas & UK, Sales, at airspace security leader, Dedrone. Amit has over 20 years of experience in the security technology industry, and leads Dedrone’s Americas & UK enterprise sales teams, providing counter-drone capabilities for all organizations. He can be reached at Want to reach a security focussed audience? Advertise from only £200 +VAT Contact us now on +44 (0) 20 8253 4509 or email