International

France deploying anti-drone technology at Euro 2016

2016-05-17 21:48
A drone

Paris - France will deploy anti-drone technology to interfere with and take control of any flying machines that violate no-fly zones over stadiums at the European Championship, part of unprecedented measures to secure Europe's biggest sports event since the Paris attacks in November.

Euro 2016 security chief Ziad Khoury said Tuesday that no-fly zones will be declared over all 10 stadiums as well as training grounds for the 24 teams at the June 10-July 10 tournament.

"We've noted the general proliferation of drone-usage in society," Khoury said in his Paris office. "So no-fly zones will be defined over every training ground and every stadium, and in most stadiums and for most matches anti-drone measures — which are quite innovative — will be deployed, working with the state, which will interfere with drones and take control of them if they are spotted."

French authorities have trained for the possibility of drones being used to disperse chemical weapons over crowds. A training exercise in April in Saint-Etienne, one of the 10 Euro 2016 cities, imagined that a drone carrying chemical agents had plunged into spectators at the Geoffroy Guichard Stadium, which will host three group matches in June and one game in the knockout round.

"When you prepare an event of this size, you must imagine all scenarios, even the most unlikely," Khoury said.

He said authorities have no specific intelligence to indicate that drones are a threat, but are preparing for all eventualities. The anti-drone measures to be deployed by the French air force and police "aren't necessarily infallible, because the technology is new and the drone phenomenon is recent. Let's say it is a dissuasive measure that didn't exist at previous sports events," he said.

"The idea is not to destroy the drones, because there could be collateral damage, notably if they crashed into the public. It is to prevent them from flying over the stadiums and perhaps to arrest their pilots," Khoury said.

Expanded security perimeters around stadiums should keep any drone pilots at a considerable distance, he said.

"So the risk for matches should be limited. For other sites, it's a different matter," Khoury said.

"With drones, it could be curiosity. It could be fans. It could be something more malicious," he said. "Nothing has been identified in particular. It's simply that we are working on all hypotheses so we could respond."

Read more on:    euro 2016  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

Do you think SAFA made the right choice in appointing Stuart Baxter as head coach of Bafana Bafana?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.