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droning on

Flight operations resume at Dublin Airport after brief suspension due to drone activity

Three flights were diverted as a result of the drone.

LAST UPDATE | 2 Mar 2023

FLIGHT ACTIVITY IN Dublin Airport was briefly suspended this evening due to drone activity.

The airport confirmed on Twitter this evening that flight operations had been suspended after a drone sighting.

It has since issued an update that operations resumed just before 7pm.

Gardaí were immediately advised after the sighting at 6:27pm and three flights were diverted elsewhere.

The tweet condemned the drone activity as “reckless and illegal”.

It is against the law to fly a drone within five kilometres of the airport.

One woman, whose flight was diverted to Shannon Airport this evening told The Journal that passengers were frustrated but in good spirits. They are currently waiting on the tarmac to fly back to Dublin.

Several incoming flights are delayed, including arrivals from London Heathrow and Lanzarote.

Several planes due to land in the airport were circling over Dublin this evening, according to Flight Radar.

Drone activity at the airport has been a significant problem in recent weeks. Government ministers met with aviation officials and gardaí last month to address the issue.

A spokesperson for airport operator DAA told The Journal last week: “The State must consider counter drone technology for use by the Department of Defence to take down drones that threaten passengers and aircraft activity in such a reckless manner.”

The DAA also said in a tweet: “Drones causing disruptions at airports and events is a state wide issue that needs to be tackled with new legislation, a State agency responsible for managing counter drone technology and harsher sentences.” 

Aer Lingus and Ryanair have both said the disruption to flight schedules is unacceptable, with the latter criticising Transport Minister Eamon Ryan for failing to enforce punishments for those flying drones near the airport.

Ryanair is this evening calling on Minister Ryan to resign if the drone closures at Dublin Airport aren’t fixed. 

“It is unacceptable that more Ryanair flights and hundreds of passengers have again suffered disruptions and diversions as Dublin Airport is now closed for a sixth time in six weeks by drones,” Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said in a statement. 

“Transport Minister Eamon Ryan has failed to take any effective action to protect Dublin Airport and his strategy of holding meetings is useless,” O’Leary claimed. 

Two people faced court in February for separate accusations of disrupting flights at the airport by flying a drone.

With reporting by Hayley Halpin

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