U.K. Airports are Testing Drone Detection Technology NOW – Here’s How Many Drones They’ve Found

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Leading drone detection agency Dedrone provided drone detection technology at 4 undisclosed airports in the U.K. for 148 days – and here’s the drone activity they found.

In a recently published report, Dedrone says that the four airports “looked to Dedrone technology to determine if they had any drone incursions at all, and if so, begin deploying a complete counter-drone solution to protect their operations.”

How Many Drones Actually Fly at Airports?

Dedrone monitored drone activity at the four airports for a total of 148 days – during which 285 drones were seen.

Here’s how it works: “During a threat analysis, Dedrone deploys a drone detection sensor, which feeds data to DroneTracker, the software platform. DroneTracker auto-generates a report on what was detected,” says the Dedrone report.  (DroneTracker is the central component of the system, Dedrone’s software platform.) “The DroneTracker platform analyzes information from Dedrone’s RF hardware, which provides long-range detection and classifies drones. DroneTracker uses Dedrone’s “DroneDNA” database to recognize and classify drones. DroneTracker also integrates with 3rd-party sensors and triggers alerts and countermeasures.”

The following is excerpted from the Dedrone Report, which can be found in its entirety, including references, here:

Data Analysis:

Drone activity was monitored at four locations for a total of 148 days.

  • Total drones detected: 285
  • Average number of drones detected per day: 1.93
Type of drone and manufacturer breakdown

Drones Detected by Day of Week
Drones detected by time of day

Key Learnings and Next Steps:

  1. The problem of unauthorized drones at airports is real, not anecdotal: Drones have appeared and disrupted UK airports in the past year, causing loss of revenue due to closed runways.
  2. Drone pilots fly a broad spectrum of technology from different drone manufacturers, and detection technology must be able to capture all drone activity: Drone detection systems must be able to detect all kinds of drones, regardless of the manufacturer. While DJI is the global market leader in drone technology by sales, they only represented 44% of the incursions at the airports studied.
  3. UK drone pilots come out to fly at airports around the same time and days, and airports can strategically prepare for increased incursions during these periods: The majority of the incursions occurred on weekend afternoons when drone hobbyists may be flying drones to capture footage for personal use.



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