Drone blocker systems to be installed at all national airports

New legislation banning drones from national airports will be coming into effect from January 2018.

Expresso broke the news this evening, saying the first steps are bureaucratic – drone flyers will need to register and insure all their devices.

Real-time monitoring and blocking systems will follow.

These will involve radar, 360º heat sensitive cameras and radio communications that introduce false coordinates to impede drones’ flying within a radius of two kms.

Secretary of State for Infrastructures Guilherme d’Oliveira Martins was among those present at demonstrations of how the technology works at Ponte de Sor aerodrome this week.

Incidents with drones have been dogging planes, particularly those flying out of Lisbon, since the technology’s popularity skyrocketed.

Earlier this summer, TAP president Fernando Pinto told TSF radio that if drones “keep entering airspace, we’re going to call for them to be grounded.”

Pinto was talking days after one of TAP’s planes with 74 passengers almost collided with a drone as it approached Lisbon. The drone came to within 50 meters (165 feet) of the right wing when the aircraft was at an altitude of 900 meters (2,900 feet), according to Portuguese media.

As reports said at the time, “unlike most other principal European airports, Lisbon airport is inside the city. Planes fly low over downtown Lisbon rooftops when landing, and a loss of control could spin an aircraft into a densely-populated area”.

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