Return of Live Events Signals New Era in Event Airspace Security
SAN FRANCISCO — Dedrone, the market leader in airspace security, today announces the successful implementation of Dedrone’s counter-drone technology at Preakness 146. Dedrone worked with the security team from 1/ST 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. 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.
Protecting Preakness 146
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. 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 Rob D’Amico, Chief Security Officer, 1/ST. “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.
Dedrone provides airspace security for government, military, critical infrastructure, and major public events, including the 2019 RBC Canadian Open, and 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.
“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, CEO, Dedrone. “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.”
Dedrone is the market leader in smart airspace security. Dedrone’s counter-drone system is trusted by hundreds of commercial, government, and military customers globally to protect against unauthorized drones. With flexibility to host on premise, in the cloud or access via Dedrone’s Airspace Security-as-a-Service (ASaaS), Dedrone customers can detect, classify, locate and, where authorized, mitigate unauthorized drone threats. Established in 2014, Dedrone is headquartered in San Francisco, with operations in the Washington, D.C.-area, Columbus, Ohio, London, and Germany. For more information about Dedrone and to reach our counter-drone subject matter experts, visit dedrone.com and follow @Dedrone on Twitter, Vimeo, and LinkedIn.
About The Stronach Group and 1/ST
The Stronach Group is a world-class technology, entertainment and real estate development company with Thoroughbred horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering at the core. The company’s consumer facing brand 1/ST (pronounced “First”) powers The Stronach Group’s forward-thinking 1/ST RACING, 1/ST CONTENT, 1/ST TECHNOLOGY, 1/ST EXPERIENCE, and 1/ST PROPERTIES businesses, while advocating for and driving the 1/ST HORSE CARE mission. 1/ST represents The Stronach Group’s continued movement toward redefining Thoroughbred horse racing and the ecosystem that drives it. 1/ST RACING drives the best-in-class horse racing operations at the company’s premier racetracks and training centers including: Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields and San Luis Rey Downs (California); Gulfstream Park – home of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, Gulfstream Park West and Palm Meadows Thoroughbred Training Center (Florida); the Maryland Jockey Club at Laurel Park, Pimlico Race Course – home of the legendary Preakness Stakes, Rosecroft Raceway and Bowie Training Center (Maryland). 1/ST CONTENT is the newly formed operating group for all of 1/ST’s media and content companies including: Monarch Content Management, Elite, GWS and XBTV. 1/ST TECHNOLOGY is horse racing’s largest racing and gaming technology company offering world-class products via its AmTote, Xpressbet, 1/ST BET, XB SELECT, XB NET, PariMAX and Betmix brands. 1/ST EXPERIENCE blends the worlds of sports, entertainment and hospitality through innovative content development, elevated national and local venue management and hospitality, strategic partnerships, sponsorships, and procurement development. 1/ST PROPERTIES is responsible for the development of the company’s live, work and play communities surrounding its racing venues including: The Village at Gulfstream Park (Florida) and Paddock Pointe (Maryland). As the advocate for critical industry reforms and by making meaningful investments into aftercare programs for retired horses and jockeys, 1/ST HORSE CARE represents The Stronach Group’s commitment to achieving the highest level of horse and rider care and safety standards in Thoroughbred horse racing on and off the track. For more information, please visit www.1st.com.
Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.