New deadline to be set for airports to install anti-drone systems


Besides prohibitive cost, the operators have said they were unable to implement the systems due to pandemic

Aviation regulator, Bureau of Civil Aviation, will set a fresh deadline for airport operators in the country to install anti-drone systems in airports, after none of the operators implemented the system before January 31, the deadline earlier set.

“We will shortly notify fresh deadline for metro airports. Operators have informed us that the current systems to counter drones available in the market are too expensive,” said Director General, Bureau of Civil Aviation, M.S. Ganapathy. Besides prohibitive cost, the operators have informed that they were unable to implement the counter drone systems due to the pandemic.

Mr. Ganapathy said the counter drone system had to be in place in airports as “threats from drones are real.”

There are about 100 operational airports in the country. The discussion to have counter drone systems started as early as 2016. It was taken seriously after 2018 as drone attacks on vital installations around the world increased, sources said. Many airports in the world have already put in place the counter drone system.

According to government estimate, there are about 2 lakh big drones in the country of which just about 22,000 have been registered. “Many drones used for agricultural and other commercial purposes are big enough to cause huge damage either to aircraft or airport installations. It is a new threat, which needs to be countered effectively,” said NTRO certified Master Trainer Capt. Raejus T. Job.

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Sagar Biswas

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