FAA Heads to Dallas for Airport UAS Detection Work

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is teaming up with industry partners to carry out detection research on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) at airports. Specifically, the agency is carrying out the latest work at Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport.

According to the FAA, the DFW evaluation is the latest in a series of detection system evaluations. Previous evaluations took place at Atlantic City International Airport; John F. Kennedy International Airport; Eglin Air Force Base; Helsinki, Finland Airport; and Denver International Airport.

Noting the serious safety threats that drones flying close to airports can pose, the FAA is coordinating with government and industry partners to evaluate detection technologies. This effort complies with congressional language directing the FAA to evaluate UAS detection systems at airports and other critical infrastructure sites, the agency notes.

At DFW, the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi UAS test site is performing the flight operations by using multiple drones. Gryphon Sensors, the participating industry partner, offers drone detection technologies such as radar, radio frequency and electro-optical systems.

The FAA’s federal partners in the overall drone detection evaluation effort include the Department of Homeland Security; the Department of Defense; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Federal Communications Commission; Customs and Border Protection; the Department of the Interior; the Department of Energy; NASA; the Department of Justice; the Bureau of Prisons; the U.S. Secret Service; the U.S. Capitol Police; and the Department of Transportation.

The work is also part of the FAA’s Pathfinder Program. The agency intends to use the information gathered during this assessment and other previous evaluations to develop minimum performance standards for any UAS detection technology that may be deployed in or around U.S. airports.

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