Japans Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry has decided to install a security system that detects unauthorized drones flying above airports following various drone incidents have been causing trouble for airlines operating flights both in Japan and abroad.
Flying drones in the vicinity of airports is banned under the aviation law and other regulations.
The system is said to be able to detect drones flying at altitudes beyond what the eye can see. The ministry plans to install the system at several airports in time for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
An experimental trial was conducted at an airport in Kochi Prefecture this summer and the ministry included about ¥200 million for the system’s installation in its budgetary requests for fiscal 2020.
The ministry has not revealed the details of the system for security reasons. However, a person familiar with the system said it can detect the location of a drone by detecting a signal transmitted by the device and the related information is displayed on a surveillance monitor. The system is expected to be deployed at airports including Haneda, Narita and Kansai.
Operations at Kansai International Airport in Osaka were disrupted for the second time this week by sightings of a drone-like object. The closures caused two ANA flights to be cancelled. Seventeen arriving flights had to be rerouted to other airports. In all, 27 flights experienced delays.
In December last year, drones were spotted above Gatwick Airport in London, leading to intermittent shutdowns of the runway for several days.