Prohibited drones in Brussels Airport anti-bird testing

In normal times, flying prohibited drones in an airport space is as unthinkable as it is insane. Right now, however, the craft are not only buzzing around the runways of Brussels’ main airport, but are central to a test by the facility’s operator to decrease the risk of bird strike.

Brussels Airport and its traffic control service provider Skeyes are currently running trials using drones around normally prohibited sections of runway airspace to see if they can significantly lower the threat of bird-plane collisions. The testing, which began September 9, involves the craft flying in more remote sections that are harder for the habitual car patrols to reach. Dry runs earlier this year found uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAV) to be effective in identifying and flushing birds out of grassy margins beside runways. The current models are also outfitted with speakers that can blast screeches from birds of prey to enhance the fear response.

The effort seeks to decrease…