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Trial drone detection at YOW

October 7, 2019  By Wings Staff

The Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority is partnering with NAV CANADA and QinetiQ Canada to trial the latter’s Obsidian Counter UAS System. In making the announcement, Ottawa International Airport (YOW) notes that the Obsidian system is designed specifically for drone detection and features what the what the airport authority describes as enhanced scope and coverage to recognize drone features, while avoiding misclassification of non-drone activity such as bird or wildlife movement.

“Obsidian Counter UAS is specifically designed to meet the current and forecast threat of drone incursion upon critical national infrastructure, including daily operations in complex environments such as the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport,” said Robert Aubé, managing director of QinetiQ Canada. “This trial will provide all parties with operational evaluation, as well as considerable data to inform future improvements, all the while providing immediate benefits to safety.”

Objectives of the trial include:

• Evaluating the accurate and timely detection/early warning of drones or remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS);
• Assessing the utilization of the system to initiate an appropriate response to drone/RPAS detection between the Airport Authority and NAV CANADA;
• Assessing system compatibility in an international airport environment where other partner systems could cause interference; and
•Demonstrating YOW’s commitment to promoting innovation and leadership in addressing the challenge of drone detection and mitigation.


“Establishing drone security measures at airports is a crucial component to mitigating risks and maintaining the safety of our skies,” said Neil Wilson, CEO of NAV CANADA. “Collaborations like this one are crucial to developing policies and practices that ensure drones are safely integrated in our airspace.”


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