Skip to main content

FAA, FBI Team on Drone Detection Tests at JFK

WASHINGTON—One of the major concerns for the Federal Aviation Administration on the use of unmanned aircraft systems, aka drones, has been the use of such devices around major airports. The FAA says it has received a number of reports over the last two years from pilots and residents about the use of drones near airports. In response, the FAA and other government agencies are collaborating to evaluate drone detection technology at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. One such collaboration includes the FBI.

Per the FAA, as of May 2 the administration has been using a FBI UAS detection system to study its effectiveness in a commercial airport environment. Around 40 tests reportedly took place with five different rotorcraft and fixed wing UAS participants. These tests were an expansion on research that had previously taken place at the Atlantic City International Airport.

Other agencies took part in the research at JFK, including the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Queens District Attorney’s Office, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Further tests on the detection of UAS in airport environments are mandated by the FY 2016 Appropriations Law. The FAA says it is currently working on additional inter-agency strategies to evaluate detection systems.