French security services are putting in place measures to prevent any drone-related incidents occurring during this summer's Euro 2016 tournament. The move comes in the wake of the Paris terrorism attacks of November 2015, and the tournament is all set to be one of the most well defended sporting events in history.
Dealing with potential threats from the air represents a new challenge for sporting security forces, who usually only have to focus on crowd control. But in a country increasingly wary of the threat of terrorism, no stone is being left unturned. Euro 2016 security chief Ziad Khoury has admitted that drone incidents are unlikely, but is refusing to leave any stone unturned. "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."
No-fly zones will be declared over all 10 stadiums in use throughout the tournament in France, as well as training grounds for the 24 teams involved. The idea is that expanded aerial security perimeters will keep all drone pilots at a considerable distance from crowds. But how do security teams intend to enforce these no-fly zones?
Khoury 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."
"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."
This suggests that French police will take the safer option, and deploy technology designed to hijack rogue drones. Such capabilities have already been brought to market by Finmeccanica . You can read more about the Falcon Shield drone defence system here.