21 February, 2019

Drone sightings halt operations at Dublin Airport

Drone chaos strikes at Dublin Airport!    The busiest Irish International airport became the latest international gateway to be disrupted by drone sightings over the airfield today.

All flight operations were suspended on Thursday morning following confirmed sightings of a drone over the airport. The suspension started at 1149 local time out of an abundance of caution, the airport operators saying safety was its key priority.

A pilot reported a drone sighting to the Irish Aviation Authority at the airport, approximately at 11.30am.  This prompted the suspension of flights by air traffic control. Which is understood to be agreed and preplanned procedures for drone attacks or sightings. 

There were no further sightings of the drone during a 30-minute suspension of flights, so the airport reopened for normal operations. However, many flights were delayed either arriving or departing due to the drone incursion.  A few flights were diverted away from Dublin during the incident which is estimated to have cost over €75,000.

"Flight operations have now resumed @DublinAirport following an earlier drone sighting. We apologise for any inconvenience. The safety and security of passengers is always our key priority." Dublin airport offered via social media.

The local airport police questioned aircraft enthusiasts at the airport during the incident, however, their task in locating and apprehending the illegal drone operator was greatly hampered by a number of social media users, including MrNeeson, claiming they were flying the drone over the airport.

The Dublin drone attack is the latest in a series of major international airports being targeted by illegal operations by drone users. London Gatwick was closed for more than 30 hours in December last year following repeated drone sightings over the airfield.  Just days later London Heathrow had to halt arrivals briefly after a drone was spotted in the arrivals flight path. Towards the end of last month, Newark's Liberty Airport in New Jersey halted some operations after a drone was spotted flying just 30 metres away arriving aircraft. Dubai International Airport also saw flights suspended for a short period last week due to drone activity.

(Images Dublin Airport)