Two flights were forced to divert to Shannon Airport this evening following another drone sighting at Dublin Airport.
At around 6.30pm, air traffic controllers informed inbound flights and aircraft due to depart that operations at Dublin Airport had been suspended following a report of a drone in the vicinity of the airport.
All flights were immediately suspended in accordance with procedures to deal with confirmed drone sightings at the airport. This involves suspending all flight operations for an initial period of 30 minutes.
Inbound aircraft were placed in holding patterns away from the airport until it was confirmed that there was no further drone activity reported.
Ryanair flight FR-225 from Budapest and Emirates flight EK-163 from Dubai entered holding patterns for a time before finally opting to divert to Shannon. Another Ryanair flight diverted to Belfast.
Ryanair has repeatedly called on Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to take action to stop repeated closures of Dublin Airport after several recent drone sightings.
This evening, Ryanair Group CEO Michael O’Leary recorded a video which the airline later posted on Twitter.
Accusing Minister Ryan of ‘sitting on his hands’, Mr O’Leary reference six incidents in recent weeks where the suspension of operations at Dublin Airport as a result drone activity had resulted in Ryanair flights being affected.
In a subsequent statement issue by the airline, Mr O’Leary said: “It’s unacceptable that more Ryanair flights and hundreds of passengers have again suffered disruptions and diversions as Dublin Airport is now closed for a 6th time in 6 weeks by drones. Transport Min. Eamon Ryan has failed to take any effective action to protect Dublin Airport and his strategy of holding “meetings” is useless. As always Minister Ryan promises “stronger measures” but delivers nothing.
Minister Ryan should explain why other European airports have effective drone measures in place but Dublin Airport keeps being closed, while he is asleep on the job. Sadly, our Transport Min. is all talk and no action when it comes to drone closures. As Transport Minister he should now fix this issue or resign and let somebody more effective do the job”
Operations at Dublin Airport resumed at 6.55pm.
— Ryanair (@Ryanair) March 2, 2023