During the workshop, consensus was reached that the threat of drone incursions at airports and other sensitive areas is real and here to stay. Participants stressed that this is a very complex problem requiring a holistic and integrated approach, albeit one that can be flexibly applied at different locations.
Participants agreed that the focus of further action would be around the following main areas:
- raise general awareness of public as well as airport and government authorities at all levels about the need for counter drone measures;
- clarify roles and responsibilities of all actors involved in planning and executing counter drone measures;
- improve risk assessment methodologies;
- define requirements specification for counter drone measures, including operational procedures, and technical solutions that are inter-operable with existing infrastructure;
- estimate budget required to pay for the heavy cost of counter drone measures;
- create a roadmap for an integrated approach to counter rogue drones at airports.
Looking at the urgency of the threat, the prevailing opinion was that discussions alone are no longer sufficient, and that it is time to start developing solutions. As IATA underlined, it is time to “give assurance to pilots and air traffic controllers that the problem is under control”.
The majority of presentations emphasised the need for an integrated approach that could be achieved by bodies coordinating activities in the identified work areas.
Several activities are already well advanced, including the development of a Concept of Operations by ACI. However, there is still confusion about the actual scope of the counter-drone challenge, and a pressing need for a clear and comprehensive description of the challenge that will permit a requirements specification for countermeasures to be developed.
To avoid diluting current activities and working arrangements, participants agreed on the need first to create an inventory of existing working arrangements and other ongoing activities and projects before initiating new arrangements.
EUROCONTROL will therefore conduct bilateral meetings with selected key actors and prepare a report on the current state of play before the end of February 2020, and organise a workshop to discuss its conclusions.