Geofencing to Help Stop Drones From Flying Into Restrictive Airspace
Geofencing is the latest technology that is being used to ensure that drones do not enter into Federal Aviation Administration restricted airspace and locations such as airports and military installations. Geofencing is being used to control the movement of drones with the aid of GPS coordinates. Geofencing is an emerging technology that is designed to ensure that drones are operated safely without the risk of collision with manned aircraft. This technology is currently in the early stage of development. In the near future, it is expected that all drones would come equipped with geofencing capabilities. This technological development has become more popular due to the increase in the drone flight licenses issued this year.
Since the increase in drone operation licenses, the prevalent concern in the aviation industry is safety. With so many drones in the air, there is a chance that they may collide with an aircraft or interrupt flight operations. Although FAA stipulations and regulation state that drones should not be operated close to an airport, there has been several recorded incidents of near collisions of a drones and airplanes. This is the major reason why geofencing technology has become necessary.
Drones that support geofencing technology are provided with regular downloadable updates from the database of their manufacturers. The drone receives the signals via its in-built GPS which senses the invisible boundaries. Once the GPS picks up the boundary, the drone stops moving in that direction. Geofencing is so effective that if a drone operator tries to take off in a restricted area such as an airport, the drone will not respond at all. Most geofenced boundaries are permanent but some are also temporary. The five mile radius around airports is an example of a permanent geofencing restriction. The FAA is also planning to use geofencing technology to create temporary drone flight restrictions to protect public events like the Super Bowl and also protect pilots flying over disaster sites such as wild fires. The FAA has already implemented the temporary drone flight restriction during President Trump’s visit to his Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida.
The process of implementing a drone flight restriction for Presidential visits begins when the secret service contacts the FAA and requests for a restriction zone to be set up wherever the president is headed. The FAA then publishes a NOTAM (Notice To Airmen) restricting any type of flights into such areas. This NOTAM is also made available to drone companies which then uses its GPS system to prevent drones from flying over such locations.
Drone flight restriction has become so popular in the aviation industry that NASA is working on incorporating further geofencing technology that utilizes GPS data provided by government institutions that would prevent drones from being operated within restricted airspace. In the future, regulations may make it necessary that the technology would have to be incorporated in a drone before it could be sold or operated. The technology would also be manufactured in such a way that it would be impossible for a drone operator to circumvent it.