Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo, R-N.J., chairman of the House’s aviation subcommittee, is applauding the successful pilot project recently conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at New Jersey’s Atlantic City International Airport (ACY) to test methods to intercept unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) flown in close proximity to airports.
The pilot project – a joint venture with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and CACI International – sought to test new technology to detect and identify rogue drones.
“I applaud the FAA, DHS and CACI International for a successful pilot project at ACY of cutting-edge technology to balance the opportunities of unmanned aerial systems with the safety and security of critical infrastructure and airspace,” says the congressman. “Once again, the unique assets we have here in South Jersey are proving invaluable in the research, development and deployment of new aviation technologies.
“The FAA Technical Center, ACY and other local facilities continue to play a critical role in the safe integration of unmanned technology into the national airspace. I will continue to strongly encourage the FAA to look to South Jersey – an aviation leader for the nation – for additional research and pilot projects,” continues LoBiondo.
The joint venture tested SkyTracker technology at ACY. The proof-of-concept system uses radio sensors strategically placed around the airport to detect frequencies unmanned aircraft typically use. The system then triangulates the signals and can determine the location of the UAS and the operator for law enforcement to intervene.
LoBiondo says he was made aware of the project in October and monitored its progress throughout the trial. He and Rep. Bill Shuster, D-Wash. – chairman of the House’s transportation and infrastructure committee – recently proposed the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act, the FAA reauthorization bill.