Drones at Dublin Airport: Ministers meet today to update on sightings and interference

Transport Secretary Eamon Ryan and Department Foreign Secretary Jack Chambers will today attend a briefing on drone incidents at Dublin Airport and ongoing efforts to combat their illegal use near the airport.

Ministers received updates on reported drone sightings at Dublin Airport over the St Brigid’s Day weekend and are now concerned about the impact of delayed and rerouted flights on the traveling public, while supporting relevant government bodies to put safety and security above all others to give concerns.

Ministers will meet with representatives from Dublin Airport Authority, the Irish Aviation Authority, the Department of Justice and a Garda Síochána. The relevant authorities are continuing to investigate the incidents.

Yesterday was the third day that flight operations at the airport were disrupted by drone activity.

The closure lasted about 40 minutes.

Ryanair has urged the Department for Transport to “step in and take action” as flights from Dublin Airport have again been temporarily suspended due to drone activity.

Ryanair said: “In the last two days, eight Ryanair flights and over 700 passengers traveling to/from Dublin have been disrupted by activities that were apparently carried out – this is totally unacceptable.

“We are now calling on the Department for Transport, under Eamon Ryan, to get involved and take action to prevent further drone disruption at Ireland’s main airport.”

Meanwhile, Fine Gael TD Colm Brophy asked Dublin Airport to bear the costs of airlines suffering losses as a result of the problem.

He said responsibility must be in place to prevent drones from operating in the area after the three days of disruption.

“What work has Dublin Airport done on a counter-drone system?

“Everyone was made aware of the potential impact of this issue when thousands of passengers were grounded at Gatwick on Christmas 2018.

“What has happened at Dublin Airport since then to prevent a similar scenario here? Not much it seems.

“Obviously Covid has brought its own problems to the airport, but drones operating there illegally should be a serious concern for management there. What are you doing to prevent this?

“Because of this, airlines have had to be rerouted or passengers have been grounded and delayed in recent days.

“The airport should pay for this — not the airline,” Brophy said.

“The current legislation – the Small Unmanned Aircraft (Drones) and Rockets Order, 2015 – contains a number of restrictions on the operation of drones. This includes never operating a drone if it poses a danger to another aircraft in flight or 5km from an airport. Is that appropriate?

“Minister Jack Chambers must also take this into account.

“Our airports, and Dublin Airport in particular, must be ready to deal with drones,” he said.

A spokesman for Garda Síochána said: “Gardaí at Dublin Airport was informed of a call shortly after 7pm on Monday 6 February 2023 regarding a confirmed sighting of a drone at Dublin Airport.

“Gardaí has ​​searched the area and the matter is being fully investigated.”

However, the spokesman noted that the regulation of drones was “a matter for the Irish Aviation Authority”.

The regulation of drones is a matter for the Irish Aviation Authority.

A spokesman for the airport operator, DAA, said the “reckless and irresponsible behavior” of those causing the ongoing drone disruption at Dublin Airport was “unacceptable”.

“Those responsible will be prosecuted. While safety remains our top priority, such disruptions cause tremendous inconvenience to our passengers,” the spokesman said.

Similar activity was reported on Friday and Saturday and as a result some flights to and from the airport were delayed.

There are EU and national rules on the use of drones, including a 5km exclusion zone around airports. Misuse of drones is a criminal offense and flying drones in controlled airspace or within 5 km of an airport is a serious matter.

https://www.independent.ie/news/ministers-to-meet-today-for-briefing-on-drones-at-dublin-airport-42331309.html Drones at Dublin Airport: Ministers meet today to update on sightings and interference

Fry Electronics Team

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