Intra-Agency UAS Surveillance Drone-Detecting Testing at JFK

Tuesday, May 17, 2016
By George Hatcher

©NUAIR Alliance drone test April 19, 2016

The FY 2016 Appropriations law mandates that the FAA continue research into detection of UAS in airport environments.

Because the FAA has received reports about unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, or “drones”) around JFK, the FAA is developing drone detecting technology. FAA Senior Advisor on UAS Integration, Marke “Hoot” Gibson, said “This effort at JFK reflects everyone’s commitment to safety.” The FAA, FBI, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Justice, Queens District Attorney’s Office and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey participated in recent tests. U.S. Government is expanding on efforts to identify and deploy countermeasures to neutralize any threat posed by rogue UASs.

At JFK, five rotorcraft and fixed wing UAS participated in system evaluations this May. Approximately 40 tests took place. The JFK tests follow up on research performed at Atlantic City International Airport. Griffiss International Airport test site in Rome, NY, provided the flight commander, and expertise in planning the individual tests.

The NUAIR Alliance was part of the largest test of NASA’s UAS traffic management (UTM) research platform on April 19, 2016. That test consisted of 22 drones flying simultaneously at six different FAA UAS test site locations around the country.

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