2024: Crisis Management Days Book of Abstracts
Security and Protection (National and International Security, Corporate and Information Security, Disaster Risk Reduction)

Echoes of an Aerial Threat: Learning from the Zagreb Drone Crash for Future Security

Jelena Levak
SITNA SLOVA Cosultancy
Garik Markarian
Lancaster University

Published 2024-05-20


  • UAV,
  • CUAV,
  • Urban Security,
  • Drone Incident Analysis,
  • Aerial Threat Detection,
  • Crisis Management,
  • Technological and Human Response
  • ...More


The paper examines the crash of an unidentified UAV (drone) near the Stjepan Radić student
dormitory in Zagreb, Croatia, in 2022, as a critical case study in urban security and crisis
management. It explores the impact of such incidents on urban safety protocols, evaluates the
effectiveness of current detection and response systems, and delves into the intricate process
of decision-making under tight time constraints. Specifically, the paper highlights the
challenges in detecting and classifying low-flying, slow-moving aerial threats that may bypass
existing air defense mechanisms, underscoring the gap between technological capabilities and
the human factors influencing rapid response strategies.
Our paper will utilize a qualitative analysis, incorporating data from media reports and official
statements. By comparing this incident against similar global occurrences, the research aims to
identify patterns in the detection, classification, and response to unmanned aerial threats. This
comparative approach seeks to understand the limitations of current urban security measures
and the critical role of human decision-making in crisis scenarios. Through this analysis, the
paper raises vital questions about the balance between technological solutions and the necessity
for quick, informed decisions by individuals in positions of authority, initiating a crucial
dialogue on enhancing the efficacy of urban security measures against emerging aerial threats.


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