Drone sighting causes flights to be suspended at Dublin Airport

Drone sighting causes flights to be suspended at Dublin Airport

Irish Aviation Authority: 'Flying a drone in public requires training, as they can have serious consequences if they are flown inappropriately, or collide with a person, an animal or an aircraft.' File Picture: iStock

Flight operations were temporarily suspended at Dublin Airport on Tuesday evening after a drone was sighted flying near the airfield.

The incident was reported at about 5.50pm, and in line with protocols for confirmed drone sightings, flight operations at the airport were halted. About 20 minutes later, normal operations resumed.

A daa spokesperson said it could not comment on the specifics of the incident for safety and security reasons.

"It is illegal to fly drones within five kilometres of an airport in the State," the spokesperson said.

"The safety and security of airport users is daa’s key priority at all times and staff at Dublin Airport and An Garda Síochana remain vigilant in relation to drone activity in the vicinity of the airport.” 

IAA regulations 

In 2015, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) became one of the first aviation regulators in the world to introduce regulations and mandatory drone registration.

Since then, drone operators with devices over 250g, or those fitted with cameras, have been legally required to register with the IAA. They are also required to complete an online training course and display their operator's registration ID on their drone.

In 2019, the European Aviation Safety Authority introduced a raft of regulations relating to the use of drones and other Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) across the continent.

However, the IAA says that drone flying in Ireland has increased significantly in recent years. 

Drones caused flight disruptions at Dublin Airport in 2022 and 2019. File Picture: PA
Drones caused flight disruptions at Dublin Airport in 2022 and 2019. File Picture: PA

Their use over Dublin Airport resulted in flight disruptions last year and in February 2019, when two flights had to be diverted to Belfast and Shannon Airports. Similar flight suspensions have also taken place at airports in several major European cities.

"Piloting a drone is fun but it comes with responsibilities, and no matter what their use or purpose, drones can raise challenges from both safety and privacy perspectives," said IAA People and Operations Director Jim Gavin.

"Flying a drone in public requires training, as they can have serious consequences if they are flown inappropriately, or collide with a person, an animal or an aircraft."

IAA UAS manager/drones champion, Enda Walsh, says that while the majority of drone users fly safely and are compliant with the regulations, he is concerned that there are many drone owners who are not registered, and who may be flying unsafely and putting people and other aircraft at risk.

"If you see anyone you believe to be flying dangerously or using a drone irresponsibly, we encourage you to contact the IAA," he said. "Reckless use of a drone or inappropriate use of its camera may result in prosecution."

More in this section

Text header

From florist to fraudster, leaving a trail of destruction from North Cork, to Waterford, to Clare, to Wexford and through the midlands ... learn how mistress of re-invention, Catherine O'Brien, scammed her way around rural Ireland.

War_map
Execution Time: 0.229 s