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Major ways to use drones by airports

When modern consumer drones first appeared on the market, concerns about airplane safety and the possibility of mid-air collisions quickly arose. Airport officials were especially concerned because aircraft in the process of landing and taking off are particularly vulnerable to UAVs.

Safety and security

Security is a major concern for airports. Keeping these installations safe, whether for people or for the equipment and materials on-site, is no easy task. To deal with this complicated problem, some airports have their own law enforcement and emergency services.

Because many airports are so large, monitoring the perimeter on foot or even by vehicle is a huge challenge.

Deliveries

  • The potential for drone-based deliveries grows as regulatory agencies around the world begin to integrate drones into their national airspaces.
  • Airports are an excellent candidate for this type of UAV application.
  • With the need to transport supplies, repair parts, luggage, and other items, airports face challenges on a daily basis.
  • Drones significantly improve an airport’s logistic capabilities in situations like this.
  • Time is a valuable commodity. Emergency parts can be flown to a hangar in a fraction of the time it takes to transport them through a modern airport’s already congested roads and service tunnels.

Managing Facilities

  • Airports are essentially microcosms of larger cities. Some of the world’s busiest airports even have their own postal codes.
  • These massive structures necessitate the same infrastructure and utility management as any modern city.
  • It takes a full-time job to keep these buildings, runways, electricity, water, sewer, and other services in good working order. Drone technology, thankfully, makes this massive task much more manageable.
  • Drones can inspect buildings for signs of wear and tear, conduct roof thermal inspections, and safely inspect communication towers, all without putting people at risk of falling.

Challenges in Wildlife Management

  • Given the vast spaces that airports occupy, it’s no surprise that wildlife has encroached on many of them.
  • Deer crossing runways, animals becoming trapped in hangars and warehouses, and birds disrupting flight operations are all common occurrences.
  • Drones can be used to track and alert personnel to the presence of wildlife.
  • Some drone manufacturers have even created special UAVs that resemble birds in appearance and behavior. Birds that congregate in dangerous areas are chased away by these flapping-wing aircraft.
  • It is a novel concept that aids in the safe operation of airports that are plagued by nature’s own flying machines.

Points to Remember

With plenty of other uses of drones at airports still in the works, it appears that the days of drones and airports squaring off are fading.

Concerns about drones at airports are beginning to fade as UAV technology improves and becomes more reliable.

Drones are likely to be seen far more frequently in airports in the future as these fears give way to better technology and more open minds.

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