Drones buzzing around Singapore’s Changi Airport caused 63 flights delayed or hijacked last week, triggering an investigation and raising questions about offender motivations.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said Tuesday that 18 flights to the airport have been delayed, and seven have been diverted from the night before “due to bad weather and unauthorized drone activities. “
He had previously confirmed drones were seen flying near the airport last Tuesday and Wednesday. Which caused the intermittent closing of a track, delaying 37 flights and hijacking a plane arriving in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“Multi-agency team, including the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore-Changi Airport Group, Singapore Armed Forces and Singapore, has Police Force been activated for search and locate operations,” he said. regulatory body added.
Investigations are in progress. No details on the number of drones involved and the authors were provided by the authorities.
Shortly after the news broke the activity drone at Singapore’s Ministry of Defense Airport posted a photo of a soldier pointing a jamming gun at a “red drone” on Facebook.
While the photo was not taken to Changi, he alluded to the anti-drone technologies that could be used to track down offenders.
Drones are largely controlled by operators via a control link radio, on a frequency similar to that of a Wi-Fi connection. A gun jammer temporarily disables this connection.
“In the absence of a control link, most drones are designed to go into fail-safe mode, and can either try to return to their original location or immediately ground,” says Foong Shaohui, a professor. unmanned systems research in Singapore at the University of Technology and Design.
“It would be possible to identify the operators, analyzing the information stored in the drone” such as images and flight data, he added.
Some observers have said that the incursions, which happened twice and in less than a week from each other, could signal the involvement of more sophisticated groups.
Yong Brand, CEO of Garuda’s Robotics, has taken extensive media coverage of the dangers of flying drones around the airport into account.
“Since it’s a repetition of the event … there’s a good chance it’s not an accident of intrusion airspace or a drone ignorance of the operator,” he says.
Unauthorized drone activity is dangerous around the airport because of a risk of collision with aircraft that are taking off and landing.
Drones can not be transported within 5 kilometers (3.1 km) of airports, military bases in Singapore without a permit. The offense carries a maximum penalty of one year imprisonment and a fine of 20,000 Singapore dollars.
Changi Airport is among the busiest in the world. It handled a record 65.6 million passengers last year, but its leaders have called for rising fuel prices and trade tensions as challenges in the future.