Dedrone, the globally renowned company in airspace security, has announced the successful implementation of Dedrone’s counter drone technology at Preakness 146. Dedrone worked with the security team from 1/ST (1/ST Group of Companies) and the Maryland Jockey Club, owners of Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness Stakes, in the weeks leading up to the event for a pre-event threat assessment.
Unauthorized drones detection
On multiple occasions before race day, unauthorized drone pilots were detected and located with Dedrone-enabling security teams, to respond to potential threats in real-time.
In 2021, Preakness 146 returned on May 15 with standardized COVID-19 protocols in place, to welcome back 10,000 socially-distanced fans and stakeholders with a key exception – that aerial intruders and unauthorized drone activity would not be tolerated.
Airspace security services
The Maryland Jockey Club retained Dedrone to assess the airspace security and protect race day operations from potential drone interruptions. Dedrone provided complete airspace security services, including a pre-event threat assessment, utilizing Dedrone sensors and analytics software, to identify areas of higher drone activity.
“The Preakness Stakes is a premier event for our company and the health and safety of horses, riders, stakeholders, guests, employees and the community is our highest priority. Prioritizing safety includes how we address airspace security to protect against drone threats,” said Robert (Rob) D’Amico, Chief Security Officer, 1/ST.
Detection, analytics, and protection
Law enforcement issued warnings and educated the drone pilots about their violations
“As the Chief Security Officer for 1/ST and as former Chief of Operations for the FBI’s Counter UAS Unit, I knew Dedrone was the ideal airspace security partner to provide detection, analytics, and protection for our event. Dedrone allowed our team to focus on executing the safe, stellar race day operations that 1/ST is known for.”
Dedrone identified multiple drone incursions, allowing the Maryland Jockey Club and local law enforcement to locate and approach unauthorized pilots. Law enforcement issued warnings and educated the drone pilots about their violations. On race day, Preakness 146 did not experience any drone incursions.
Countering the threat of unauthorized drones
Dedrone provides airspace security for government, military, critical infrastructure, and major public events, including the 2019 RBC Canadian Open, and the 2018 PGA Tour – Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic closed venue doors to spectators, however, aerial trespassers remained a persistent and escalating threat to event operations. As venues and stadiums welcome back spectators, Dedrone works with security teams to prevent drone threats to operations.
True airspace protection
“Despite airspace restrictions in place, public and sporting events remain vulnerable to unauthorized drone flights, and the only way to ensure true airspace protection is through Dedrone’s airspace security solution,” shares Aaditya Devarakonda, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Dedrone.
He adds, “The coordination of security teams at Preakness Stakes leveraging Dedrone, demonstrate how venue security providers can stay ahead of airspace threats by easily integrating drone detection into their existing security ecosystem.”