Dublin airport boss says ‘draconian condemnation’ is needed to tackle drone disruption

There are calls from the Dublin airport operating company for tougher penalties for people illegally flying drones over Irish airports.

16 disruptions were caused at the airport over the St Brigid’s Day bank holiday weekend after drones were sighted at the facility.

Kenny Jacobs, CEO of airport operator DAA, said Ireland must introduce “draconian penalties” for illegal drone use and a defense system that can disable the devices.

A system that can jam a drone signal and detect where they are being flown from is operated by the London Metropolitan Police.

It was installed following a series of incidents at Gatwick Airport in 2018.

Last night Transport Secretary Eamon Ryan joined Minister of State for Road Transport and Logistics Jack Chambers with representatives from the DAA, the Irish Aviation Authority, the Ministry of Justice and An Garda Síochána to discuss the illegal use of drones at Dublin Airport in recent days.

Mr Jacobs said DAA made its recommendations to ministers at the meeting.

“First of all, have a system to counter drones.

“That’s something you can use to stop drones, something you can use to shoot down a drone when it’s over a field,” Mr Jacobs told RTÉ Tomorrow Ireland.

“It’s practically a piece of engineering. It’s a technology that signals a drone to jam and also allows you to bring that drone down in a controlled manner… By using the frequency that the drone is being controlled at, you override that and bring it down.”

A drone detection system is currently in place at Dublin Airport and Mr Jacobs said any data gathered from it will be shared with Gardaí, who can bring charges that currently carry a maximum sentence of seven years.

“In the UK they have increased that to a maximum life sentence for people flying drones over an airfield,” he said.

“So I think it would be good for the state to set up the drone shooting system and increase the penalties.

“So if people are breaking the law, and they are breaking the law by flying a drone near Dublin Airport or any other airport, there has to be a draconian sentencing.”

“Next weekend it could happen at Shannon Airport, it could happen at the Aviva Stadium, so I think this goes beyond airports. It goes beyond transportation. This is a government defense system that we should look at to make sure no major airports or events can be stopped by people breaking the law,” he added.

https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/travel-news/dublin-airport-chief-says-draconian-sentencing-needed-to-combat-drone-disruption-42332885.html Dublin airport boss says ‘draconian condemnation’ is needed to tackle drone disruption

Fry Electronics Team

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