Drone warning: Dublin Airport closure

Travellers, airline crews and Dublin Airport workers had a lucky break yesterday, when a drone sighting brought services to a halt for half an hour.

It could have been much worse; last December’s drone alarm at Gatwick closed the airport for three days.

Britain’s authorities were caught on the hop then, and ours, too, could have been yesterday.

It’s yet another security problem for police and airport managers who until recently could have been forgiven for perceiving drones — officially known as remotely-piloted aircraft — as mere toys, and as harmless as the remote-controlled boats that children send speeding across park ponds.

That has to change.

Whether used carelessly, with a severely warped sense of fun or with malicious intent, they can cause chaos at airports, while the consequence of a mid-air collision could be catastrophe.

Yesterday’s alert was the first of its kind at Dublin Airport, but it might not be the last.

If the current 5km drone exclusion zones around our airports are shown to be inadequate, they will have to be increased — along with the punishments for breaking the law.

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