Authorities will soon test technology to keep planes safe from drones.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is rolling out drone-tracking technology at major metropolitan airports over the next few months.

It comes after new figures revealed Australian airports have spotted hundreds of drones in restricted airspace in the past two-and-a-half years.

“We can identify where drones are, where the controller is, often get the serial number of the drone, and that will allow us to then pinpoint people who are breaking the rules and issue the appropriate penalties,” CASA spokesperson Peter Gibson said.

“Fines can be in excess of $10,000. If a matter goes to court, a court can impose a jail sentence of up to five years.”

From mid-2019, Drone operators will have to register their serial numbers with authorities.

Additionally, CASA has signed a contract with Counter Drone Solutions for new equipment.

This will include fixed and mobile devices with radio frequency sensors to listen for drone command signals and identify the pilot's location.

A network of frequency sensors can triangulate location, speed, and distance of a drone, while other technologies like radar can be deployed too.

Experts say drone collisions with aircraft can be “catastrophic”.

A recent study by the University of Dayton Research Institute found “large aircraft won't always win in a collision with small drones”.