As we approach the summer months, stadiums around the World are often busier, with more events taking place and making the most of the longer days.
As a stadium director or head of stadium security, can you guarantee that all security aspects have been 100% covered?
Has a drone strategy been developed?
If the answer to either of these questions is ‘no’, you need to consider why.
The number of drones flying around our airspace is growing rapidly.
A recent study conducted by the CAA has shown that as of March 2021, there were 130,000 drone operators registered in the UK.
In comparison, as of August 2021, there were 869,428 drones registered in the United States by the FAA.
The numbers are large and continuing to grow at great pace. Therefore, if drones haven’t yet been considered in your security strategy, now is the time to consider this.
Let’s set the scene…
It’s a Saturday match day.
Two premier league football teams are playing for the chance to lift the cup and be crowned 2023 winners.
Avid supporters and a celebrity onslaught flood the stadium, to watch their hopeful teams play head-to-head.
The weather for the day is looking promising. Sun and bright blue skies are forecast, with highs of 26°C.
It’s approaching 12pm.
The crowd begin taking their seats and the atmosphere is electric.
The match begins and everyone is sat on the edge of their seats.
Shortly after the 29th minute, something is spotted flying over the pitch.
It’s been confirmed as a drone sighting.
Under Premier League rules, play must stop if a drone is seen, which means the whistle is blown and the game halted. The players head into their dressing rooms, as their safety could potentially be in danger.
With this drone, despite it being a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the potential for damage could be catastrophic.
What are the drone’s intentions? Does it want to harm players, fans or both? Does it want to cause damage to the stadium itself? Is it taking photos or streaming live footage to an online web platform, for betting purposes? Could the operator lose control of the UAV, causing it to fall out of the sky and land in the crowd?
The drone continues to hover, and stadium security staff begin to contemplate an evacuation. How quickly will this operation take?
In such a short space of time, a small device has caused a sense of panic, cost valuable time and money, and posed many questions as to the safety of the players, ticket holders, staff, and the stadium itself.
The list of questions is endless, and without the right tools in place, you will never be certain, as to the drone’s movements or true intentions…
In this situation, the stadium needs AeroTracker.
An advanced airspace monitoring system, AeroTracker combines an online integrated view of all aircraft including planes, helicopters, and drones.
AeroTracker allows a user to set a perimeter, which then tracks and alerts to any aircraft flying into the zone. Notifications are then sent to the user’s smartphone or smart watch, providing real-time updates as to the current situation.
As a secure cloud-based system, the user is able to check AeroTracker at any time and location, by logging into their account directly via a web browser.
The platform also provides real-time flight information, as well as access to historic flight logs, which could prove useful when building a picture as to that particular drone and identifying flight trends around the site in question.
Other Drone Defence Technologies
Drone Defence also have a range of products which can be used in conjunction with AeroTracker, which can prove useful in this particular case in question.
Our Paladyne E2000HH, is a handheld drone mitigation jammer, designed to be portable and easy to use, with a jamming range of 2km.
The operator can control the channels they wish to intercept, meaning that they can disrupt video transmission back to the drone operator, and force the drone to either land or return to home. This in turn, allows the operator to see the exact location of the drone pilot and catch the perpetrator.
Overall, stadiums and large event spaces need to consider a drone strategy, as part of their overall security.
In this article, the case has been explained with a Premier League football match in mind. However, the same reasoning applies to a variety of other event cases such as music tours, exhibitions, fairs or even the potential damage a rogue drone can cause to an empty stadium.
With time, money and safety on the cards, too much is at stake.
Get in touch with the team to find out more about how we can help you!