UAV makes first landing at major commercial airport

by Gareth Jennings

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has flown into a major commercial airport for the first time, with the announcement from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) that a Heron landed at Ben Gurion International Airport on 16 September.

A Heron UAV landing at Ben Gurion International Airport on 16 September, marking a first for unmanned operations. (IAI)

A Heron UAV landing at Ben Gurion International Airport on 16 September, marking a first for unmanned operations. (IAI)

The medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV took off from Ein Shemer Airfield in northern Israel and landed at Ben Gurion before returning to Ein Shemer. The take-off, flight, and landing were entirely operated from the Ein Shemer control station using IAI’s Long Runner operating system.

“The Heron landed today at Ben Gurion International Airport, becoming the first UAV to land in an international airport alongside commercial flights occupying civilian air space,” IAI said.

According to IAI, Long Runner allows UAVs to take off and land automatically on long-haul routes (ranges of up to 1,500 km and more) using satellite communication technology and a combination of accurate take-off and automatic landing capabilities.

 

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An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has flown into a major commercial airport for the first time, with ...

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