The “Airport Response to Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Threats” guidebook has been published by the National Safe Skies Alliance through its Program for Applied Research in Airport Security (PARAS). PARAS is funded by the Federal Aviation Administration and modeled after the Airport Cooperative Research Program of the Transportation Research Board. The guidebook was created to assist airport operators with planning, response and recovery regarding threats from UAS operating in unauthorized airspace.
Woolpert was contracted to develop the document in 2020 after federal agencies and the U.S. Congress identified UAS as a major concern at airports. Woolpert has provided design, engineering and geospatial services to airports and air bases worldwide for decades and is a recognized leader in UAS aviation, research and application development.
Woolpert Aviation Program Director and Principal Investigator Zachary Shuman said this guidebook is not intended to restrict UAS operations on airports, but to prepare airports for UAS incursions. He said effective preparation, documentation and execution by trained airport staff will enable airports to respond safely to UAS threats. “This guidance includes case studies, examples and training to help a wide variety of airports develop customized response plans that incorporate the unique characteristics and structures of their airports,” Shuman said. “It also identifies stakeholders who need to be involved in planning efforts, outlining how to assess threats, develop mitigation strategies, inspire community involvement and implement communication best practices. This information will help airports be better prepared to protect their airspace for the safety of all concerned.”