Anti-drone measures to protect German air traffic will cost €30 million per airport, the federal government has admitted. Security officials say their ability to deal with drones is limited without a huge investment.
Making German airports more secure against drones would require an initial investment of €30 million ($33 million) per airport, the country's Transport Ministry said on Saturday, responding to an information request by Germany's business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP).
Read more: German airports unprotected against drones
The ministry did not say how many German airports would require such a defense system. Germany is home to 16 international airports as well as many smaller airports.
German police currently possess technical tools to detect and, when necessary, divert unpiloted aircraft, the ministry reported. However, these methods are "technically limited" in their ability to disrupt a drone's control system or to "affect them physically."
The Transport Ministry is in support of the proposed drone defense project, named "Falke."
Plans are in the works to test how quickly drones near airports can be detected, identified, and captured so that air traffic is not disrupted. The testing will take place at Hamburg Airport.
Drones disrupted air traffic in Germany 158 times in 2019, according to data reported by Funke Media Group. Drones aren't allowed to fly within 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) of German international airports.
"Drones can't be allowed to threaten security at German airports," FDP politician Bernd Reuther said, upon publication of the cost. "For this reason, the federal government must account for the necessary measures in the 2021 federal budget."
kp/mm (AFP, dpa)