One of the things I liked best about the FOCUS group’s behind the scenes visit to TFS was the birds of prey that are used to keep the airfield free of avian and other fauna to ensure maximum safety for aircraft landing and taking off. You can read about the visit and the birds, with photos, HERE.
It seems though, that the days of using real birds might just be coming to an end as Aena has reported today a successful test flight in Seville airport of a drone to control fauna. It’s supposed to look like a falcon, though what the birds thought of it isn’t recorded. Aena says, however, that it was testing the drone’s functionalities for increased operational airport security.
I think it would be a real shame to see the end of these wonderful birds, and there is currently no suggestion that they will stop being used in Canarian airports. It’s the future, though, I suppose, and Aena says that tests will continue, and increase, over coming months, to study how effective the drones are at keeping wildlife away and preventing risk of aircraft impact.
There is a hint, to me, in what Aena is reporting that it’s not just birds that are potentially the object of the drones’ surveillance. It might be difficult to employ birds of prey to tackle another drone, for example, and after recent events at some UK airports it might be a matter for consideration as to how one drone might deal with another utilised to disrupt air traffic.
Here, anyway, is the maiden flight of the halcodron … hopefully it will look like a bird of prey to other birds as well as humans, but to me it hardly looks like the fabulous and beautiful creatures that I took photos of during the visit to TFS!
— Aena (@aena) September 22, 2020