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NWFL Beaches International Airport Adds Drone Detection


Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) in partnership  with DeTect announces the installation of its DeTect DroneWatcher™ drone detection and defense  system. DeTect is a local technology?based firm with several projects that enhance aviation security and  safety. Drone incursions into controlled airspace around airports has emerged as a major security and  flight safety risk over the past few years and DeTect’s DroneWatcher™ system provides the highest level  of detection and control available.        


“We are excited about our partnership with DeTect and its drone detection technology,” said Parker W.  McClellan, Jr., airport Executive Director. “The safety of our airport, community and visitors is  paramount and with the DroneWatcher™ system installed at ECP, we are able to detect drones on or in  the vicinity of the airport and take actions to ensure the safety of arriving and departing aircraft.  


When fully implemented the system will include DeTect’s  DroneWatcher RF (radiofrequency), APP  (smartphone application) and DSR (drone surveillance radar) technologies to provide multi?layer drone  detection and defense for the airport. The Phase 1 installation and commissioning completed to date  includes a DroneWatcher RF sensor on the airport control tower and deployment of multiple  DroneWatcher APP enabled smartphones that will be used by airport police as roving drone detectors  (the DroneWatcher APP, available in free and paid versions on Google Play, turns Android smartphones  and tablets into crowdsourced drone detectors).    


“DroneWatcher is a unique drone/small UAV detection and defense solution consisting of three  technologies that can operate independently or together to provide complete, multi?layer security,”  DeTect’s President and CEO Gary Andrews said. “ECP is one of the first airports in the US to install a  comprehensive drone detection system.”  Over the next month, a DroneWatcher DSR will be installed on the airport to provide a third layer of  drone detection and defense. The DSR will additionally function as a bird radar providing real?time birdaircraft strike risk alerts to airport flight safety managers. Drone incursion alerts and birdstrike risk alerts  will be provided to airport users via custom, real?time web displays and through automated text  messaging.   

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