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Drone firms pitch security solutions to avoid government clampdown

Ministers are set to meet with UK airport heads on Thursday to discuss how best to deal with security concerns

Drone flying at a jonty angle

Drone companies have said that technology such ID radio scanning could be deployed by airports in as little as three months in order to combat the rising number of rogue operators disrupting UK flight paths.

Yuneec, which is the second largest drone supplier in the UK's market, said Radio-frequency identification technology could allow authorities to scan drones and find the identity of their owner remotely.

Speaking at CES, in Las Vegas, the company's head of global sales, Joe Schamuhn, told the Telegraph the scanners would be a "very fast solution" and that he was keen to discuss the technology with the Home Office.

"We are absolutely open to any idea that allows us as an industry to grow and also to give a clear signal that we are very keen to improve security even from these idiots," he said.

A Government spokesperson told IT Pro: "On Thursday the Aviation Minister and Security Minister are meeting personally with the heads of UK airports to discuss plans to prevent malicious drone attacks in the future."

They added that the government will continue to work closely with a range of stakeholders from industry to explore technical solutions and improve security measures, but did not mention any specific companies.

A similar offer came from Hong Kong-based drone manufacturer DJI, the largest in the market. Although, DJI said it had already been developing its own drone ID system which would allow security staff to remotely see the serial number and the position of the pilot.

"We know national aviation authorities are going to start requiring mandatory remote ID systems. We've already built this in because we know it's a concern," a DJI spokesman said to the Telegraph.

This concern has been addressed by the UK government which has given additional powers to the police to combat the illegal use of drones and extended the drone exclusion zone around airports from 1km to 5km.

But given how much disruption rouge drones have caused to airports in recent months, and how difficult it's been to find and stop the culprits, drone companies are now actively looking to find solutions and show that its a responsible and accountable industry.

The most recent disruption to an airport has seen the RAF deployed at Heathrow where special radar system technology is being used. The equipment is a radar system with the technology to stop the devices from flying in a certain zone.

Met Police Commander Stuart Cundy said to Sky News that officers were among a number of people who saw the drone, and "extensive searches" were being carried out in the Heathrow area to identify who may have been responsible.

"However, we will not be discussing in any further detail the range of tactics available to us as this would only serve to potentially undermine their effectiveness."

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