Willis Towers Watson’s drone disruption plan takes flight

New action plan caters to airports, which are particularly vulnerable to drone risks

Willis Towers Watson’s drone disruption plan takes flight

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

The boom in drones has brought many advantages, but significant issues have also emerged. With this in mind, Willis Towers Watson has launched has launched a disruption action plan specifically to deal with drone technology.

Titled “Drone disruption at airports: A risk mitigation and insurance response”, the plan outlines the threat to airports by drones which are increasingly being used with malicious intent to cause disruption at airports with an increase from 35 reported incidents between 2013 to 2015 to nearly 290 from 2016-2018 in the UK alone. This year, drone sightings have also disrupted flights at the international airport in Singapore.

According to Willis Towers Watson, the plan provides strategic risk mitigation strategies and highlights the importance of developing a single internal reporting point for drone sightings and early engagement with airline operators during initial drone sightings with emergency multi-agency drills being undertaken on a regular basis. It also outlines the current insurance solutions available and the multi-stakeholder collaborative approach needed to develop new innovative solutions for the aviation community.

“Drone-related incidents at airports may be a recent phenomenon, but they are expected to increase in frequency, complexity, and severity as drones become larger and more powerful,” said Jago Harvard-Walls (pictured), client relationship director and transportation lead in Asia, Willis Towers Watson. “Airports need to prepare for potential attacks through effective risk management and there are a number of steps that airports can take to prepare for these scenarios. This includes assessing, locating and understanding the type of drone that has infringed airspace, as well as reputation management.”

The damage caused by a drone incident to an airport’s reputation can also be difficult to manage and mitigate. However, according to Willis Towers Watson, it has analytical tools that can be used to help quantify the risk to reputation and better prepare organisations to protect their balance sheet. There also remains a significant scope for airports to experience financial losses due to property damage, business interruption and legal liability from drone-related incidents, the international broking and risk management giant said.

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