Airways New Zealand to develop CUAS and UTM System

Published: Monday, February 17, 2020

Airways New Zealand has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UK-based Operational Solutions Limited (OSL), outlining an agreement to build on and improve the proof-of-concept drone detection system currently being trialed at Auckland Airport, with the aim being to jointly develop a Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (CUAS) and Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) system.

The CUAS under trial at Auckland Airport, which will be improved upon by the two parties, is a combination of Operational Solutions Limited’s Command and Control /Intelligent fusion software (‘FACE’), Aveillant Gamekeeper holographic counter drone radar and artificial intelligence-enabled camera technology.

Upon development, the CUAS will be able to detect drones entering the airspace that may pose a threat to the airport’s operations, as well as possessing the ability to identify the nature of the threat it poses. By combining the CUAS with Airways New Zealand’s Airshare UTM system, airports will be able to facilitate and authorize drone flights to operate safely within the airspace.

The technology has recently been deployed at London Heathrow Airport as part of its counter efforts to ensure the country’s busiest airfield remains free from unauthorized drone activity. With the system allowing for fast and accurate detection of rogue drones, Heathrow’s passengers and colleagues are kept safe and will help law enforcement and air traffic controllers as they work to protect Heathrow’s airspace.