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As always in Israel, there are those who warn and alert and those that do nothing about the warnings. This leads to a disaster and to the establishment of another investigative committee.
This scenario is evident regarding the drone problem.
On Saturday, Feb. 2, two drones were spotted at the vicinity of the Ben Gurion Airport. Aircraft that were supposed to land or take-off were warned. A similar incident also occurred two weeks ago.
The State Comptroller already said in 2017 that the state has completely failed in coping with the drone risk. More than a year passed, and nothing has changed. The incidence of a lethal aerial accident or terrorist attacks by drones is only a matter of time.
The State Comptroller’s severe report is a warning sign signaling with an alarming red light. The Comptroller warns that drones could be used by criminals for smuggling weapons and drugs and carry explosives for perpetrating terrorist attacks.
The police lack the measures for intercepting a drone involved in a criminal activity, and the Civil Aviation Authority has only two inspectors for this type of law enforcement.
All the experts agree that what we’re dealing with is a clear and immediate danger, but almost nothing has been done. When the Prime Minister referred to the subject, he mentioned it within the context of drones for terrorist operations.
However, the danger is mainly to the civilian and military aviation.
Israel’s aerial space is small, and it is used by civilian and military aircraft. Any deviation from the flight path means an immediate danger.
All the experts warn that a disaster caused by a drone is only a matter of time.
The enforcement, say all the experts, must by wide and strict, but this is not the situation now.
Several companies in Israel have developed counter-drone systems. They are being sold abroad, but the use of these systems in Israel is limited. “Installing such systems at critical infrastructures such as airports should be imperative,” said one expert.
In addition, the minute a drone is detected, forces must be sent in order to track the operator. And when he is caught – there must be a severe punishment. “Only severe penalties will serve as a deterrence. But the court still does not understand the extent of the danger,” according to one expert.
This is the situation in Israel. As long as no disaster occurs – no one reacts seriously to such problems and failures. Only after a disaster occurs, the relevant agencies remember to actually respond.
This horrible system must be broken.

Arie Egozi, iHLS Editor-in-Chief