The Hague maps drone activity with sensors - Cities Today

2 Oct 2023

02 October 2023

by Sarah Wray

The Hague is launching a year-long drone detection project in partnership with the police to get a clearer picture of how often and where drones are being flown.

Much of The Hague is a ‘no-fly zone’ to protect nature reserves, ministries, embassy buildings and the airport, but the city believes not all drone-owners are familiar with the rules. Through gathering data, the municipality also wants to assess whether it may be possible and safe to allow drones to fly in more places.

Sensors in three areas of the city will detect the radio signals which are used to control drones. The data will show the type of drone, the altitude, and where they are flown but the identity of the operator will be not be visible.

‘Here to stay’

Alderman Saskia Bruines commented: “Drones are here to stay. The technology is developing rapidly and more and more people are purchasing a drone. But this increase in the number of drones does create new challenges in the air.

“Think of privacy protection of the people who come into the picture, but also safety in the airspace. Together with the police, the municipality will map out how many drones are circulating in the airspace. We can then visualise how it can be handled in a safe way.”

Chiu Man, head of operations for The Hague’s police unit, added: “The vast majority of [drone] pilots have innocent plans, but as police we must also be alert to dangerous aspects of this development. That’s our job.”

The programme has been informed by similar pilots in Enschede, Apeldoorn and Amsterdam.

It is part of the SHIELD initiative through which the municipality of The Hague and the police collaborate on technology innovations related to safety and security.

Another recent project under the scheme used AI cameras to detect laughing gas abuse.

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