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Preparing for a future of drone-filled skies

May 14, 2019 / Ed Cluss

The last few months have seen an escalating series of incidents in which the harmful elements of drones have loomed large in the public eye. In April, rumors of a coup in Saudi Arabia flared after a recreational drone was shot down when flying into an unauthorized zone in the capital. August saw a drone attack on the president of Venezuela. In late December, 10,000 flights carrying 140,000 passengers were grounded over the course of 36 hours at Gatwick Airport in the United Kingdom. In the months since, a number of airports, ranging from Dublin to Dubai, have experienced delays on account of drone activity. The Gatwick incident alone is estimated to have cost the aviation industry as much as $90 million. While these are spectacular incidents, they speak to the growing ubiquity of drones. Perhaps even more telling than those events were the efforts that authorities put into air security for the Super Bowl. In the days leading up to the event, PBS reported a deluge of drones despite a ba...