Oleg Vornik, CEO of DroneShield, said we are living in “truly terrifying” times after the assassination attempt on Mr Maduro on Sunday as he delivered a speech at a military event in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas.
The attack was apparently foiled by radio operators “jamming” the drone’s signal, the New Scientist subsequently suggested – and Mr Vornik said further refinement of such techniques would be vital in the years to come, with more incidents “inevitable”.
Mr Vornik, whose company manufactures equipment capable of knocking drones out of the sky told Express.co.uk: “The history of commercial drone incidents involving heads of state goes back to September 2013 when the German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s public appearance was disrupted by a drone, which was apparently a publicity stunt by a competing political party.
“An attempted drone assassination of a sitting sovereign leader demonstrates that, sadly, the era of drone terrorism has well and truly arrived.
We are talking about a cheap and easy way of conducting terrorism by joystick, essentially
“Technological progress cannot be reversed, and going forward, the security of any asset whose perimeter is protected two-dimensionally on the ground will need to be also protected in the third dimension – from attacks from the air.
“We are talking about a cheap and easy way of conducting terrorism by joystick, essentially.
“It is truly terrifying.”
A easily affordable drone could bear a weight of half a kilogram – enough for a small grenade, Mr Vornik warned.
He added: “It’s truly terrifying. This needs to be at the top of the agenda.
“People by their nature are reactive but we really can’t afford to wait for something to happen.”
Mr Vornik, who lives in New York, used Times Square as an example of a place which could be targeted by terrorists using drones.
He said: “Times Square is well-protected against people on the ground – but not particularly from somebody putting an explosive on a drone.”
DroneShield manufacture anti-drone devices which resembles large automatic rifle, and which work by cutting the signal which drones rely on in order to keep them airborne.
They are able to target gadgets within a radius of two kilometres as well as scrambling the broadcast of video feeds.
In addition, DroneShield also produces equipment capable of detecting when unauthorised drones enter a designated area.
Australian officers were issued with the equipment in order to protect tens of thousands of spectators and athletes at the Commonwealth Games on Queensland’s Gold Coast in April.
Similar scramblers were first used at a football match in Wuhan stadium in China’s Hubei province in March 2017, with police bringing down a total of six drones.
On July 30, the Civil Aviation Authority introduced new laws restricting drones from flying above 400 feet or within one kilometre of airport boundaries.
Jonathan Nicholson, Assistant Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said: “As recreational drone use becomes increasingly widespread across the UK it is heartening to see that awareness of the Dronecode has also continued to rise – a clear sign that most drone users take their responsibility seriously and are a credit to the community.
“Drones are here to stay, not only as a recreational pastime, but as a vital tool in many industries – from agriculture to blue-light services — so increasing public trust through safe drone flying is crucial.”