What impact will drones have on aircraft?

What impact will drones have on aircraft?

From Junaid Awan

Junaid Awan is a well-known name in the blogging and SEO industry. He is known for his extensive knowledge and expertise in the field, and has helped numerous businesses and individuals to improve their online visibil...

Support this campaign

Subscribe to follow campaign updates!

More Info

There are more and more intrusions occurred at Airports, all due to drones taking off near the airport in violation of regulations. In April, an intrusions happened in Chengdu caused 58 flights to be diverted, countless flights were delayed, more than 10,000 passengers were stranded, and economic losses reached millions.

But to be fair, drones can’t fly as high as birds, let alone catch up with airplanes. So what impact will drones have on aircraft? We can analyse the answers from the following two dimensions.

1. Signal interference

The take-off and landing phase of the plane flight is called the black 10 minutes, which is 3 minutes during the take-off and 7 minutes during the landing. According to research, 80% of aircraft accidents occur in this black 10 minutes. However, during takeoff and landing, many of the flight control systems, automatic navigation systems, automatic drive systems, landing gear, and communication equipment on the aircraft may be interfered with by other wireless signals, causing system errors in judgment, which may lead to disasters.

That’s why we are usually required to turn off the electronic device during the flight. However, people usually just adjust it to airplane mode. Some passengers even do not turn off their phones from the beginning to the end.

The aircraft will rely on the automatic navigation system during takeoff and landing, and the automatic navigation system requires a relatively pure electromagnetic environment. Once it is interfered with, it is likely to receive wrong signals and produce wrong countermeasures.

Currently, all civilian drones require radio technology to achieve functions such as positioning, remote control, and image transmission. While all communication frequency bands at airports are fixed, or specified restricted and protected. It stands to reason that there will be no conflict, and everyone feels that there will be no interference problems, but who can guarantee it?

Of course, today's electronic instruments, especially the facilities on aircraft, are very sophisticated and have good protection and anti-interference properties. If a drone can interfere with the aircraft's wireless signal, it is an accidental event with a very small probability, but we can not take no measures because the probability is extremely small. Therefore, every time a drone runs into the wrong set, all flights in the sky will be temporarily diverted to other airports, and flights within the airport will be temporarily suspended.

2. The Risk of Collision

Before the problem of bird strikes was properly solved, drones came quietly, raising the threat to aircraft to a new level. Although drones fly at a pace significantly higher than birds, they can reach similar altitudes in the air. An impact from a passenger jet would be more damaging than one from a bird, even for a tiny toy drone. The essential components of birds are skin, meat, and bones, despite their wide range of sizes. Drones and mini drones are made of solid plastics, metal structures, batteries, and other elements. The improvement in hardness and sturdiness will cause the destructive power after an impact to be far greater than that of birds.

Current passenger aircraft are mainly designed with jet turbine engines. What if a drone hits the engine? On this issue, relative speed is no longer within the scope of discussion, the extent of damage would be determined by the current aircraft engine power level. The aircraft's radar cannot accurately detect these objects and their locations, so it cannot prevent them from a distance. When pilots see these objects with the naked eye, they are very close and the danger is very close as well.

How to Prevent Drones from Flying Illegally?


1. Refine regulations.

As early as 2013, the Civil Aviation Administration of China issued the "Interim Regulations on the Management of Pilots of Civilian Unmanned Aircraft Systems", which requires drones to fly beyond visual range (distance exceeds 500 meters or height exceeds 120 meters) or pilot an empty drone weighing more than 7 kilogram need to hold a license. The regulation stipulates that separate airspace should be designated for civil unmanned aircraft flights, with clear horizontal and vertical scopes and period of use. Segregated airspace can be temporarily designated for civil unmanned aircraft within the airspace used by civil aviation. However, in flight-intensive areas, densely populated areas, and areas surrounding busy airports are not designated as civil unmanned aircraft flight areas. But the issue of illegal flight was not solved efficiently as the punishment is not severe enough.

Early in 2017, an advice was raised by civil organizations, stating that drone pilots engaged in illegal flights should be detained for a minimum of 5 days; If the circumstances warrant it, they should be detained for a minimum of 10 days.

2.Real-Name Registration for the Sale of Drones.

Vehicles have had one person, one car, and one license plate from long ago. Why can’t drones do the same? Purchasing a drone can imitate the process of buying a car. Nowadays most drones have their unique SN code. The SN code can be bound to the buyer's details, so that one person, one drone, and one code correspond to each other. In this way, If a problem occurs, the relevant person in charge can be found.

3. Technical restrictions on drones.

The method proposed is to define an elliptical area with a radius of up to 4.5 kilometers, centered at the midpoint of each runway end, and designate it as a no-fly zone. Then expand the area and set it as a restricted flight area. Later, two fan-shaped areas were extended at both ends of the runway as restricted flight areas, because these two areas will be used by aircraft for takeoff and landing. These restricted area coordinates are pre-installed in the drone, so that the pilot can fly in the restricted and no-fly areas, and the drone itself does not need to execute the take-off order or cannot enter the restricted and no-fly areas. This method can significantly improve the intrusion of drones into airports and the threat to civil aviation aircraft. Other drone manufacturers can take this as reference.

4. Increase efforts to standardize and train drone pilots.

No matter whether it is regulations and policies, technical restrictions of manufacturers, or supervision of relevant departments, in the end, the problem of illegal flying still occurs among a small number of pilots. If there were not these pilots who "love" illegally flying, the problem would not be so serious. Training and safety education for drone pilots must also be taken seriously.

Illegally flying is wrong, but the methods of civil organizations are not advisable. Faced with imperfect policies and the rampant of illegal flying, many countries have established non-governmental organizations such as the "Anti-Drone Alliance". Unlike military institutions, civilian organizations do not have professional and expensive equipment, so the defensive methods and active attack methods they bring are not as effective.

Last year, the American non-governmental organization "Anti-Drone Alliance" used net guns to "hunt" some uninvited drones at the Boston Marathon. But to be honest, although this approach solves the "public anger", the approach itself is illegal, after all, it infringes on other people's personal belongings. Therefore, the methods of civil organizations are not advisable and should not be followed.

Check out Ruko Drone Store for more drone related information.

Campaign Wall

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or