Willis Towers Watson offers plan for drone disruption

Willis Towers Watson has launched a disruption action plan to deal with drone technology.

The plan, Drone Disruption at Airports: A Risk Mitigation and Insurance Response, outlines the threat that drones pose to airports.

Drones are increasingly being used with malicious intent to cause disruption at airports. There was an increase from 35 reported incidents between 2013 and 2015 to nearly 290 from 2016 to 2018 in the UK alone, according to Willis Towers Watson.

Providing strategic risk mitigation strategies, Willis Towers Watson’s guidance highlights the importance of developing a single internal reporting point for sightings and early engagement with airline operators during initial drone sightings, with emergency multi-agency drills being undertaken on a regular basis.

Karen Larbey, director of strategy and planning for the transportation industry at Willis Towers Watson, said: “Our Airport risk community is very concerned about the growing use of drone technology to disrupt and interfere with airport safety.”

“As we have seen with the recent events in Gatwick and Singapore, and the subsequent re-routing of flights, drone technology is increasingly sophisticated and causes extensive disturbance. It is therefore essential that we help our clients to understand what risk mitigation strategies to put in place to help airports handle the disruption caused by drones.”

Willis Towers Watson’s guidance also highlights the importance of assessing, locating and understanding the type of drone that has infringed airspace, as well as reputational management. 

With drone incidents at airports expected to increase in complexity and frequency, the guidance outlines the current insurance solutions available and the multi-stakeholder collaborative approach needed to develop new innovative solutions.