Performance Analysis of UAS Detection Technologies Operating in Airport Environments
The steep increase in reports of small unmanned aircraft (UA) in close proximity to airports and manned air traffic is presenting a new challenge for the FAA. The safety of the NAS is the Agency’s responsibility including for identifying possible gaps in safety and addressing them before a significant incident occurs. The FAA receives, on average, over 100 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) sightings per month from pilots and others; some of these are near manned aircraft and/or near airports. The FY 2016 Appropriations directed the FAA to assess the feasibility of integrating proven UAS mitigation technology at airports. The FAA is focusing their efforts on evaluating technologies that can detect and track UAS in order to support safe conduct of operations in an airport environment. Depending on the size, location, and perceived intent of the UAS platform, the responsibility for mitigation, such as disrupting or defeating a non-compliant UAS may fall under the appropriate law enforcement or homeland security agency.