Ireland vows to tackle drones after Dublin Airport shut six times

The Irish government on Friday vowed to tackle the problem of drones after a series of incursions forced the closure of Dublin Airport, the country’s busiest, on six occasions since the start of the year. Unlike other major European airports, Dublin Airport does not currently have the power to force down drones flying close to its runway and says it needs state action to tackle the problem.


“We will bring an end to this,” Finance Minister Michael McGrath told state broadcaster RTE on Friday, after three planes were diverted and thousands of passengers were delayed by a 32-minute suspension of operations at the airport on Thursday evening. A government memo is being prepared to provide a legislative underpinning for airports to use anti-drone technology, McGrath said.

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Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary, whose airline has been the most effected by the series of short closures, said Dublin airport was now the most disrupted large airport in Europe from drone activity. “We cannot have another week of closures,” he told Newstalk radio, calling on Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to resign if he fails to act immediately to fix the problem. Drone sightings caused chaos at Britain’s second-busiest airport, Gatwick, in 2018, leading to about 1,000 flight cancellations.

Source: Reuters

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