Dublin Airport has been receiving a new wave of criticism following more interruptions to its flight schedule.
Departures and arrivals around the airport were briefly suspended at around 6:30pm yesterday evening when a drone was spotted in the airport’s airspace. This is the sixth time in six weeks that Dublin Airport has had to pause flight operations as a result of a drone.
Flights were not able to resume until 6:59pm, and the delays resulted in three planes being diverted to Shannon and Belfast airports.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland earlier today, the Minister for Finance Michael McGrath insisted that the Government is trying to solve the issue, but admitted that “more needs to be done.”
“While we have drone detection technology in operation at Dublin Airport, what we don’t have currently is anti-drone technology that will, in effect, bring them down,” he explained.
However, the owner of airline Ryanair Michael O’Leary counter argued the Government’s defence, and claimed that the solution to the drone problem is “reasonably easy”. The CEO stated to Morning Ireland that anti-drone technology would only cost the Government around €100,000 to purchase.
“500 passengers were taken to an airport they didn’t want to go to, and 20,000 passengers had their flights delayed and disrupted at Dublin Airport last night,” Mr O’Leary raged.
The Ryanair boss called on the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan to take effective action against the issue.
“What we need is not legislation, we need the Minister to authorise Dublin Airport to spend the €100,000 to buy the electronic equipment which will disable these drones once they’re identified and bring them down,” he noted.
“Most European airports, [like] Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted Airport, all have anti-drone technology,” he added. “There’s no reason why our main airport should not have this technology in place today.”
Feature photo credit: Dublin Airport Instagram