Commercial, Military, Unmanned

FAA, FBI Expand UAS Detection Research at JFK

By Juliet Van Wagenen | May 17, 2016
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Unmanned aircraft system
Unmanned aircraft system. Photo: FAA

[Avionics Today 05-17-2016] The FAA and its government, industry and academia partners have joined forces to evaluate drone detection technology at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York in order to expand research on ways to detect rogue drones around airports.

Over the last two years, the FAA has received numerous reports from pilots and residents about Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) around some of the nation’s busiest airports, including JFK.

“We face many difficult challenges as we integrate rapidly evolving UAS technology into our complex and highly regulated airspace,” said FAA Senior Advisor on UAS Integration Marke Gibson.

Beginning May 2, the FAA conducted evaluations at JFK to study the effectiveness of a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) UAS detection system in a commercial airport environment. Five different rotorcraft and fixed-wing UAS participated in the evaluations, and about 40 separate tests took place. The tests expanded on research performed earlier this year at Atlantic City International Airport.

In addition to the FAA and the FBI, the agencies combining forces in this research included the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Justice, Queens District Attorney’s Office and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. DHS and the FBI want to identify unauthorized UAS operators for law enforcement purposes, and the FAA’s mission is to provide a safe and efficient airport environment for both manned and unmanned air traffic.

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