INTERPOL carries out full-scale drone countermeasure exercise

INTERPOL and the Norwegian police have carried out a three-day exercise to test and evaluate anti-drone measures in a secure air space in the Norwegian capital.

The exercise, carried out in real-life conditions in Oslo in late September, brought together law enforcement, academia and industry experts from Europe, Israel and the United States to test and assess 17 drone countermeasures to ensure the safety of an airport environment through the detection, monitoring and identification of the drones and their pilots.

Such systems are becoming vital to ensure the security of airports and airspace, and also the protection of air exclusion zones above cities, prisons and essential infrastructures.

All measures were evaluated and classified in accordance with specific criteria. The results will be integrated into an INTERPOL framework of anti-drone measures, access to which will be granted to the organisms responsible for policing from the 194 member countries of Interpol, so as to create a worldwide platform for collaboration and the exchange of information. 

The exercise was held at Gardermoen Airport in Oslo while the airport continued to operate normally. Because of the complexity of the exercise, the event required close collaboration between the entity responsible for the management of the airport (Avinor), the Norwegian Communications Authority, the Directorate-General for Civil Aviation, and the organisation for unmanned air systems UAS Norway, in order to guarantee that all the systems and tests complied with the required standard and did not affect the operations of the airport itself.

In addition to the exercises, workshops and presentations concerning the drone incursions were also held with a view to gathering evidence. During these sessions, the participants exchanged best practices and discussed potential future solutions to the problems posed by drone incursions.

Anti-drone measures are essential to protect airspace and will become more and more important as member countries proceed to regulate the use of drones and the management of airspace.

While measures may serve to detect, identify and locate drones within a specific area, in many countries there is no legislation in force to enable the authorities to intercept a drone that is in full flight. This situation constitutes a huge challenge for the organisms responsible for enforcing the law, for public administrations and those responsible for the management of airspace, and points to a clear need to better understand the danger posed by drones and to develop guidelines and mechanisms to transmit the information received.

INTERPOL Innovation Centre is participating in the European-funded Project Courageous, and aims to prepare a European framework for the selection, testing and evaluation of anti-drone measures for policing purposes.

In May 2020 the Innovation Centre published its Intervention framework for incidents involving drones, intended for front-line teams and digital forensic laboratories, and brings together every year key participants from all over the world to form part of Interpol’s drone platform.


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