By Lawrence Audu
Organisers of the 2018 Winter Olympics say they will use “drone-catching drones” to intercept any potential safety threats via air in Pyeongchang amid concerns the devices could be used to interrupt competition.
The Winter Games’ safety division, the Pyeongchang Olympics anti-Terrorism and Safety Headquarters, said drones will used to catch other drones if one is detected approaching an event via radar.
It’s said their drones will deploy a net to inhibit any airborne craft that encroach upon the events in Pyeongchang, although more rigorous measures—such as helicopters—are also available.
Organisers of the Winter Olympics have expressed fear that terrorists may look to use the remote-controlled machines to carry “bombs toward crowd members or athletes.
The Games’ security detail is said to be 60,000 strong—including 50,000 South Korean soldiers—and a SWAT team recently conducted a successful practice drill involving a drone sending a bomb toward a bus with athletes aboard.
A spokesperson from the Olympic headquarters, who sought to assure the measures in place would assure this, will be a safe two-week competition:
“We have response systems in place not only for terror and other manmade threats but also natural disasters like earthquakes and heavy snowfall. We are preparing to provide guests to the Pyeongchang Olympics with the safest competition in Winter Olympics history.”
In any case, it’s believed any wayward drones would have a challenge in causing a stir at the Games as Young reported the no-fly zone around the location means anything airborne would be detected “well before they would reach any Olympic venue.”
Security personnel have also been armed with “drone guns” that, when aimed at a potential threat, jam the drone’s signal and “flies it back to the ground.”
Drones are a new threat on major sporting events that utilise new-age technology to have any impact, but an old-fashioned net may provide a somewhat simple solution to any potential threats in Pyeongchang.