Drone Sighting Causes Dublin Airport Closure

February 21, 2019

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Flights at Ireland's Dublin Airport were suspended for a short time on Thursday morning due to a drone sighting.

Drone Sighting Causes Dublin Airport Closure

The incident happened around 11:30 when a pilot reported seeing a drone on the airfield.

Flights were suspended by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) for 30 minutes after the report was received, but with no further drone activity detected, airport operations resumed shortly after midday.

“The safety and security of airport users is daa’s key priority at all times and staff at Dublin Airport, the IAA, and other agencies continue to remain vigilant in relation to drone activity in the vicinity of the airport,” airport operator daa said in a statement.

It is illegal to fly drones within 5km of an airport in Ireland and all drones that weigh more than 1kg must be registered with the IAA. Daa said state agencies, including the Gardai police service were informed of the incident.

Three flights were diverted while the airport was closed, with additional flight delays expected because of the incident.

The Dublin sighting is one of an increasing number of drone incursions at major airports. London Gatwick suffered severe flight disruptions over three days during the peak travel season in late December, and London Heathrow flights were stopped for an hour in January because of drone sightings.

The US FAA issued a ground stop at Newark’s Liberty Airport in January because of drone sightings in New Jersey. That stoppage lasted less than an hour but caused disruption to flights in the eastern United States.