The growing use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and their unauthorized operation near airports poses a potential serious threat to airports and the traveling public. Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport is recognized as an industry leader in working toward innovative technological solutions to detect and respond to unauthorized UAS activity.
DFW Airport has been chosen as a field site for a study to develop operational requirements addressing how to respond to potential threats to airports and airport operations from UAS.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, in partnership with DFW Airport and airport stakeholders including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), met at the Airport on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. The group considered how to develop operational requirements for emergency response capabilities to meet emerging UAS challenges in airport operating environments. During the visit, topics of discussion included:
- Summary of emerging UAS challenges
- Overview of current and future Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-UAS)
- Response capabilities and concepts of operation
- Local perspectives on roles and responsibilities during a UAS incident
“DFW Airport has participated in numerous committees and conferences to advocate for responsible drone use and advance deployment of detection and mitigation technologies,” said Chad Makovsky, Executive Vice President for Operations at DFW Airport and a member of the C-UAS Blue Ribbon Task Force on UAS Mitigation at Airports. “We are excited to be a part of this study to develop rigorous C-UAS requirements that will ultimately benefit the entire industry. This is an example of DFW Airport’s commitment to keep our customers and our community safe.”
The industry and airport sponsored C-UAS Blue Ribbon Task Force provides Congress, federal agencies, and the aviation industry with policy recommendations on how to best mitigate potential threats from unauthorized operation of UAS.
Under the Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018, DHS has statutory authority to counter credible threats from UAS to the safety or security of a covered facility or asset. The site visit is part of ongoing efforts by DHS and other federal agencies to develop operational requirements for a wide variety of C-UAS future capabilities across all DHS mission areas.