ORLANDO, FL - Drones are growing in popularity, but the trend also posing some serious dangers, as some people are flying them in the wrong places and for the wrong reasons.
“Everyone is becoming a pilot, every neighborhood is becoming an airport,” said Timothy Bean, CEO, Fortem Technologies.
We’re living in a drone world. Concerns over the digital birds flying in restricted or dangerous airspace are taking security to new heights.
“It’s wonderful advancements in technology but when these advancements happen, you need to have security,” said Bean.
Fortem Technologies developing the first drone that can capture a rogue device.
“It will capture it with a net and tow it away with a tether,” said Bean.
A network of sensors monitor airspace and deploy the “Drone Hunter,” when an unauthorized drone is detected. Fortem CEO Timothy Bean says this is the only alternative to shooting the drone down.
“One of the benefits is they don’t drop on a person’s head, we keep it safe and tether it so that we take it to a safe location, also people will invest in this if they are solving for criminal behavior or terrorism,” said Bean.
The U.S. Department of Defense is using the technology to protect military establishments. The hunter could also be used to protect crowds of people like sporting events, festivals, the company also in discussions with theme parks.
“If you look at Orlando and the amount of people in outdoor gatherings, and the amount of security that goes in so that people can feel like their having a good, safe experience, what we’re seeing and security professional are telling us is that security needs to be extended beyond the fence line, beyond the metal detector, up into the sky,” said Bean.
The technology also deployed at several major airports to protect aircraft from a drone strike.
“The FAA requires an engine to be designed to be able to withstand a bird, it’s obviously a soft tissue, whereas a drone is made out of metal and plastic and that going into an engine would be a catastrophic failure of the engine, so it is definitely a concern for aviation,” said George Speake, Executive Vice President/Chief Operations Officer, Orlando Sanford International Airport.
Orlando Sanford International Airport is not using the Fortem system but Executive Vice President George Speake says drones are on their radar.
"Occasionally, we’ll get a call that someone flying in has seen a drone and we’ll have our law enforcement respond,” said Speake.
Luckily, the airport has not experienced any serious incidents but if that were to happen, it would disrupt airport operations.
“We would be shutting things down until we could take care of that drone,” said Speake.
Airports around the globe have had to shut down operations for hours, even days due to unauthorized drones.