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CLARA MOSCHINI

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Safety. Too many drones on sensitive areas of Germany

They caused 158 disruptions to air traffic at German airports in 2018

The news is still fresh that in December saw the London airport of Gatwick, the second busiest in the UK, struggling with the invasion in its airspace by some drone aircraft, which determined the closing for about two days and the interruption of more than 1000 flights, causing Security Minister Ben Wallace to deploy the British armed forces across the country to detect and neutralize any possible future threat that could come from remotely controlled aircraft. Today it is Germany that has to make its own "accounts" of the damages connected to the phenomenon, which seems to remain uncontrolled despite the precise directives issued by every national authority that generally prohibits its activity in the airspace above the airports, on crowds, hospitals, prisons, government buildings, railways and main roads. A phenomenon that is revealing, however, all the critical vulnerability in the safety of airports -and not only- of the United Kingdom yesterday and Germany today, a situation aggravated by the absence of suspects for the interruption of air traffic. In most cases it is difficult to identify the identity of the person who remotely operated the disturbing drone.

Today, Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS), the company that deals with air traffic control in Germany, has released data concerning both safety and economic losses. The number of flight interruptions due to drones, or UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), in 2018 reached a record high of 158, with an increase of 80% compared to the 2017 (when 88 were registered), a sign that the phenomenon is in dramatic expansion. In the order the largest number of interruptions occurred at Frankfurt airport (31), followed by Berlin-Tegel, Munich and Hamburg.


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