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Countering Clueless, Careless, Criminal and Combatant Drone Users

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

The FAA estimates that by 2024 about 2.3 million drones—1.5 million recreational drones and model aircraft and more than 800,000 commercial drones—will be registered to fly in U.S. National Airspace System (NAS). As drone numbers increase, so do reports of negative encounters with them. In the past two years, the Department of Homeland Security has logged more than 2,000 drone sightings in and around U.S. airports and more than 8,000 illegal cross-border drone flights at the southern border.

“The drone threat continues to evolve at a rapid pace as drones and the sensors and technologies associated with them become more affordable,” noted Casey Flanagan, a former FBI technician specializing in counter-drone. Flanagan, who also is the current president of Richmond, Virginia-based AeroVigilance, a counter-drone consulting, training and services provider, offered a prediction: “The nefarious use of drones will ultimately only be limited by the imagination and technical abilities of those who use them.”

This threat continues even as the law that gave a limited group of federal officials the authority to detect and mitigate will soon expire. Consequently, it’s worth surveying the state of peril, the tech to defeat it and the actions necessary to create safe skies.

Topics: D-Fend Solutions, counter drone, counter-UAS, threats, homeland security, drones, AeroVigilance, Counter UAS National Action Plan, Northop Grumman

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