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Speaker drone chases birds away at Brussels Airport

Speaker drone chases birds away at Brussels Airport

During a test at Brussels Airport, a loudspeaker-equipped drone was deployed to drive away birds while the airport remained open for business. The goal was to see how far speaker drones could be deployed safely for bird control at an airport. The exercise was carried out by Brussels Airport’s Bird Control Unit in conjunction with air traffic control Skeyes and drone operator Citymesh.

Speaker drone chases birds away at Brussels Airport

Drone flying is normally not allowed near airports. However, if the flights are carefully planned, drones can also be beneficial at airports. Drones, for example, might be deployed to frighten away birds that jeopardize airplanes taking off or landing. One of the major causes of accidents in manned military and private aircraft are bird strikes. As a result, airport officials do everything possible to keep birds away from the runways.

Employees of the Bird Control Unit typically commute by vehicle due to the huge size of the airport grounds. A recent experiment looked into whether a drone might be used instead to identify, monitor, and even scare away birds. As a natural deterrent, the DJI M300 drone was outfitted with a speaker that plays noises of birds of prey.

The test flights were conducted by Citymesh in conjunction with Skeyes air traffic controllers and the Brussels Airport Bird Control Unit. To ensure safety, the drone stayed a safe distance away from the aircraft and only flew between take-offs and landings. The airport’s routine operations did not have to be disrupted.

Previous examination

The bird control drone test follows a previous unique pilot experiment at Brussels Airport in April 2021, when a drone flying over the airport in Belgium was controlled by a pilot 100 kilometers away through a 5G link. The trial’s goal was to see if drones could be utilized for inspections and surveillance at the airport.

Speaker drone chases birds away at Brussels Airport

A DJI M300 is equipped with a speaker for bird control.

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This article first appeared on Dronewatch and is written by Wiebe de Jager who is also a DroneXL contributor.

Photographer: Skeyes

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Wiebe de Jager

Wiebe de Jager (@wdejager) is the founder of Dronewatch and author of several bestselling books about drone photography. Wiebe is a certified drone pilot and has a full ROC license.

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