Pantex Deploys System to Counter Unauthorized Unmanned Aircraft Systems

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AMARILLO, Texas -- The Pantex Plant has deployed a system to counter all unauthorized unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, over Pantex airspace, which is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) designated “No Drone Zone.” FAA regulations on UAS and counter UAS measures can be found by click here.

“The National Nuclear Security Administration Production Office (NPO) is announcing this deployment and the airspace restriction to the public to minimize the threat of unauthorized UAS flights over Pantex,” said Teresa Robbins, NPO Manager. “This will enhance our ability to effectively protect this vital national security facility.”

The Pantex system is intended to detect, identify, and track potentially malicious UAS threats. The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act provides the legal authority from Congress for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to protect its facilities for its counter UAS program.

UAS operators who violate the airspace restrictions at Pantex may also be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges. NNSA and contractor officials are working closely with federal, state, and local law enforcement to coordinate necessary enforcement actions. Advertisements and social media messages will also be issued to remind the public of these restrictions.

NNSA welcomes assistance from the local community and UAS operators to help ensure the safety and protection of the Pantex Plant and its personnel from unauthorized UAS activities. NNSA will educate the public about the “No Drone Zone.” Education efforts will include installing signage around the Pantex site perimeter advising the public of the site boundary where drones are not allowed, as well as outreach to local officials and community groups, the media and UAS hobbyists.

NPO is responsible for ensuring the safe, secure, and effective operation of Pantex Plant and the Y-12 National Security Complex, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

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