The Cricket World Cup will have enhanced measures in place to prevent unauthorised drones disrupting security efforts for the tournament.
The World Cup security team, which is led by Jill McCracken, has been working with cooperative drone manufacturers, the police and security services and civil aviation authorities about being able to prevent drones, liaising with all 10 venues that will host matches.
The competition is the first major global sporting event in the UK since the disruption caused by drones at Gatwick Airport last December, when around 1,000 flights were diverted or cancelled due to drone sightings near the runway. Although the Cricket World Cup’s security team was conscious of the need to safeguard against potential use of drones anyway, events at Gatwick brought the issue more into focus.
The World Cup’s security team has conducted analysis into likely areas where drones could be flown from, within reach of each venue, and taken significant preventative steps - for instance, identifying potential locations from which drones could be launched that could reach the grounds, and stopping drones from being able to get into the air from such sites.
The team has taken various measures to make the area around venues less amenable to such drones. Authorised broadcasting drones, used in the live broadcast of matches, will be used throughout the tournament.
The security team has worked extensively with venues from other sports, including football, to mitigate the likelihood of drones being able to fly to grounds. The World Cup has taken the best guidance that exists for how to curb the use of drones and tried to add additional measures.
The steps to prevent the use of drones are regarded as significantly advanced from 2017, when England hosted the Champions Trophy and Women’s World Cup, and among the most sophisticated ever used in sport. But drone technology is considered to have evolved too, stressing the need for vigilance. Disruption that could be caused by drones is considered a growing risk across major sports events.
“We have worked alongside the police and security services to ensure that we follow the most up to date guidance available," said McCracken. "There will be authorised drones used at most venues for broadcast and security purposes so spectators will see these around the venues.”