Muscat Airport first in the world to have drone detection system

July 14, 2019 | 1:28 PM by Times News Service


Muscat: Oman Airports has signed an agreement to install a drone detection system at Muscat International Airport, making it the first airport in the world to have such a setup.

The agreement was signed on Sunday, 14 July 2019, in collaboration with the German company Aaronia AG and R&N Khimji LLC, who will supply and install the latest drone detection system at Muscat International Airport.

As part of its ongoing efforts to ensure the best global standards, Oman Airports signed on Sunday, July 14 2019 an agreement with the German Company, Aaronia AG in partnership with R & N Khimji LLC to supply and install the latest Drone Detection System at Muscat International Airport, which makes it the first International Airport in the World to have an operational Drone Detection System.

The agreement was signed by Aimen bin Ahmed Al-Hosni, Chief Executive Officer of Oman Airports and Ramesh Khimji from Aaronia AG in partnership with R&N Khimji LLC.

Photo – @OmanAirports/Twitter

Aimen Al-Hosni, Chief Executive Officer of Oman Airports stated: “The system is able to detect drones and other devices using radio frequency to protect the surrounding areas of the airport including the landing and take-off runway. The system can detect multiple drones and other devices at various frequencies simultaneously and comes equipped with sophisticated long-range cameras for additional verification. Aaronia has been working with high-end radio frequency (RF) and microwave systems for over 15 years with all software and hardware being developed in Germany.”

Al-Hosni added: “With the confirmation of the procurement of the system, Muscat International Airport will be the first International Airport in the World to use this technology and to have an operational drone detection system. We are pleased, at Oman Airports, as one of the subsidiaries of Oman Aviation Group, to be actively engaged in attracting world-class cutting-edge technologies.

“We take ownership of the airports management within the context of our strategic priorities as we strive to attain the highest standards of the most advanced global airports by demonstrating a firm commitment to uphold the highest standards of security, safety, and operational efficiency in order to provide a safe and smooth travel experience for all Oman airports’ users,” he said. “Today, in coordination with all our strategic partners, we are pleased to sign the introduction of this latest security system consisting of the supply and installation of the Drone Detection System at Muscat International Airport, in cooperation with the German Company, Aaronia AG in partnership with R&N Khimji LLC.”

After signing this agreement, Muscat International Airport will be one of the leading international airports equipped with the latest and most sophisticated equipment that enhance air navigation and contribute to safe and secure landing and takeoff activities at the airport. This falls within the priorities to ensure the highest degree of safety for passengers and airlines using Oman’s airports.

Al-Hosni continued: “Drone detection in airports has become a vital requirement with several instances causing disruption of airport services around the world. We, at Oman Airports, seek to use the latest systems and technologies to ensure the highest standards of safety. The limitation of most systems using Radar technology is that they cause interference with existing airport systems and have a low detection rate. Aaronia’s unique solution, offered today at our airport, uses latest RF detection technologies and emits no signals, therefore cannot interfere with other systems running in our airports.

He went on to add: “Oman Airports is continuously searching for optimal solutions to enhance our capabilities and the work environment at our airports in the Sultanate. The system that we are going to install at Muscat International Airport can detect the location of the operator of the drone, which allows immediate coordination with the competent authorities to address any situation.”

Drones, although being generally safe, with several instances have been reported to have threatened the air traffic and caused disruption of airport and flight services around the world, resulting in flight delays and travel inconvenience for thousands of passengers, in addition to the security risk that it presents to the travel safety.

The Middle East region is witnessing rapid growth and developments that require civil aviation operators to address a range of safety-related challenges at various levels, particularly amidst the increasing demand for air routes and the higher levels of aircraft traffic and heavy use of drones.

Drones pose a potential security threat to many facilities, including airports, power facilities and security-sensitive locations.

Some drones can fly for weeks or months at high altitudes and can reach up to six kilometers. Some drones are designed to be palm-sized or smaller which make them hard to be eye-tracked or detected.

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