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By Arie Egozi
Security officials in Israel are concerned about the planned operation of commercial drones for delivery missions in Israel. “Even today there are major problems at Israel’s narrow airspace. In addition, there is a security problem. With hundreds of drones in the air at a specific hour, it will be much harder to detect an explosive drone,” one of the officials told iHLS.
The official added that it would be better to consider all the potential difficulties now, before granting the authorization and then correcting after the problems appear.
One of the sources said that in Israel, where explosive drones are a growing threat, the authorization of commercial drone operation is a risk “that one should consider carefully if it is worth taking.”
Drones are expected to play a key role in the smart city environment, providing support for a variety of applications. In Israel, the use of drone deliveries is apparently only a matter of time. Technology giants Uber and Google already conveyed their interest in launching drone deliveries in Tel-Aviv.
Currently, drone delivery flights are not allowed. However, the closing of Sde Dov Airport in Tel Aviv has cleared off the low altitude airspace in the city, which had been loaded with civilian and military flights from and to this airport. The move has opened the potential possibility to fly drones over Tel Aviv without risking aircraft and helicopters.
According to calcalist.co.il, for the first time, Ayalon Highway intends to invite, companies to take part in drone delivery experiments next month. Ayalon Highway will operate the testing on behalf of CAAI – Civil Aviation Authority in Israel at the Ministry of Transportation. CAAI will be responsible for the future regulation in the field in collaboration with the Alternative Fuels Administration in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Innovation Authority, in order to regulate drone operations at Israel’s airspace.
One of the planned testing sites is over Netanya’s new football arena and parking lots area when there are no games or training activities there.
Ayalon Highway already allows autotech companies to conduct autonomous car testing at this site.
The drone experiments will include the testing of their capability to carry various payloads, land at an accurate pre-programmed destination and fly beyond the operator’s visual line of sight.
Simultaneous experiments by several companies will allow the testing of flight coordination in the airspace, to prevent collisions.
Each company will operate one drone that would carry up to 2 kg parcels, and then several companies will fly their drones at the same time.