Thales Selected by Airservices Australia to Carry Out Drone Surveillance Trials at Sydney Airport

Thales has been selected by Airservices Australia, an Australian Government-owned organisation responsible for the safe and efficient management of 11 per cent of the world’s airspace, as the prime systems integrator to launch an Integrated Drone Surveillance Trial utilising the company’s advanced drone surveillance solution.

With the use of drones for commercial and leisure purposes expected to grow exponentially, it is becoming a necessity to identify and efficiently manage their activity near airports.

A world leading systems-of-systems and solutions integrator for over 50 years, Thales is pushing technology boundaries with partners and airports to deliver advanced integrated drone surveillance systems for any airport configuration. Thales will commence a trial in 2022 at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, one of the busiest aerodromes in the world. ​

Thales’ solution uses a multi-layered sensor approach and advanced command and control for the detection, monitoring and identification of drones, as well as being able to pinpoint the location of the drone pilot. The entire system provides a comprehensive picture of the airspace in real time around the airport. At the core of the system is a radar, designed to detect, track and classify small, slow, low UAVs from the smallest remote-piloted drones to more sophisticated autonomous drones, in particular for the glide path where the biggest risk exists. ​

Since its launch in 2019, the solution has been deployed at several airports around the world in Europe, America and Asia. For more than 30 years, Airservices Australia has trusted and relied on Thales as the supplier of key ATM infrastructure and solutions, including the OneSKY program, the largest transformation of Australian ATM systems to date.

“Airservices, in partnership with Australian Government agencies, implemented drone detection capabilities at major airports across Australia several years ago,” Peter Curran, chief customer experience and strategy officer, Airservices Australia. As uncrewed aircraft technologies continue to evolve and increase in use, we are investing in solutions that keep pace with latest developments. Our partnership with Thales allows us to trial next-generation drone detection capabilities to enhance the safe operation of crewed and uncrewed flights operating together in Australian airspace.”

Chris Jenkins, chief executive, Thales Australia & New Zealand added: “Safety and security are at the heart of all Thales capabilities. This is an exciting new opportunity on trial in Australia that proves the consistency of our strategy by ensuring the safe and secure application of a drone-based economy, whilst increasing opportunities to drive efficiency and financial benefits to a large proportion of Australian businesses in the future.”