Senator Seeks to Boost Anti-Drone Technologies at Airports

February 5, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of a renewed push to protect air travelers from the threat posed by drones, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) says he plans to offer a measure to boost federal efforts to research, test and deploy various technologies to keep drones away from sensitive areas, such as our nation’s airports. 

Nelson, the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee which oversees the FAA, says he plans to insert the measure in legislation the panel is currently working on to reauthorize the agency. 

Nelson discussed the plan at a meeting today in Orlando with airport directors from all across Florida.

"Right now, it seems no one in the federal government is willing to take the lead to bolster and install technologies that could protect airports from the threat posed by drones," Nelson said.  

A number of companies are developing drone-mitigation technologies that would, among others, be able to shut down a drone that strays into a no-fly-zone, such as an airport, or deploy advanced sensors to detect and intercept drones attempting to enter sensitive areas.

Last month, Nelson called on the heads of the FAA and NASA, along with the departments of Defense and Homeland Security, to work together to mitigate the safety and security risks associated with drones. 

That request came on the heels of a recent report that ranked Miami and Orlando among the top cities nationally with close calls between aircraft and drones.