SKYFALL: European police complete counter-drone training in Antwerp

SKYFALL: European police complete counter-drone training in Antwerp
Image from Antwerp Police

In a joint project between Belgium’s federal police and the Brussels Capital Ixelles Policing Area, 15 European police officers visited Antwerp to take part in SKYFALL, a special training initiative focused on protecting against drone attacks.

“As the Antwerp Police Department, we try to take on a leading role within the Belgian police in terms of innovation and modern technologies,” said project-coordinator Willem Willemsens in a press release.

The officers from the 15 different member states (which include the Netherlands, Lithuania, Germany and Ireland, among others) came to Antwerp in order to learn about various counter-drone tools and techniques. One of those tools is a jammer, which disrupts a pilot's control of a drone.

Another was a kinetic interception device – a projectile fitted with a net and parachute that is used to bring the drone to the ground in a controlled manner, both so that it doesn’t crash into a crowd high speed and so that the captured drone can be forensically analysed after capture.

A demonstration of these different counter-drone technologies was attended by Antwerp’s mayor, Bart De Wever.

“In the past three days, we not only gained awareness about the risks concerning UAVs or drones but were able to collaborate with police from the other EU nations,” said a representative from Rotterdam’s police department in the Netherlands who participated in the training.

“One police department or country might have gotten some experience about a subject, which we could then share in the Netherlands.”

SKYFALL is a European project funded by the European Commission in the context of the Internal Security Fund Police.

“This gives room to European police departments to together with the industry, researchers and experts, look for solutions to problems that come our way,” explained Willemsens.

The training took place over three days at the Campus Vesta in Ranst, outside the city of Antwerp.

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