The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) has again been forced to suspend all flight operations following a reported sighting of a drone at the airport.
One flight from Shannon to Dublin was forced to enter a holding pattern away from the airport until it was confirmed that there was no further drone activity and operations could resume.
At around 8.15 this evening, air traffic controllers reported that a drone had been sighted over the northern runway at Dublin Airport. Flights were immediately suspended in accordance with procedures to deal with confirmed drone sightings at the airport. This involves grounding aircraft due to depart and suspending all landings for a period of 30 minutes.
An aircraft on approach to land had its clearance cancelled and was directed to break off and enter a holding pattern over the Irish Sea. Other inbound flights were also placed in holding patterns away from the airport.
The crew of a cargo flight from Shannon to Dublin was advised that flight operations had been suspended and that they wouldn’t be allowed land. The crew of the Star Air flight, operating on behalf of International logistics company UPS, was directed to enter a holding pattern off the Wicklow coast.
The DAA posted on Twitter: “Due to illegal drone activity in the vicinity of Dublin Airport, all flight operations are currently suspended. Further updates will follow…”
A second drone sighting was reported about 15 minutes after the first.
Flight operations at Dublin Airport have now resumed after a suspension of 30 minutes. https://t.co/o3svGldJ8I
— Dublin Airport (@DublinAirport) February 21, 2023
Ryanair was quick to call on the Transport Minister to “do something” to protect Dublin Airport from illegal drone activity.
“Dublin Airport has closed again today for the 5th time in 4 weeks due to drone disruptions, causing multiple delays and disrupting/delaying hundreds of passengers,” a Ryanair spokesperson said.
“Ryanair calls on Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to do something – anything – to protect Ireland’s main airport from these drone disruptions. Irish air travellers are entitled to expect the Minister to take action and yet again Min. Ryan has failed to meet even these modest expectations.”
The Ryanair spokesperson added: “It is unacceptable that more Ryanair flights and hundreds of passengers have again suffered disruptions and delays as Dublin Airport closed for a 5th time in 4 weeks due to Transport Minister Eamon Ryan’s failure to take any action to prevent drone disruptions at Dublin Airport. As always Minister Ryan promises “stronger enforcement measures” but delivers nothing.
Minister Ryan should explain why other EU Airports have effective drone prevention measures in place but Dublin keeps being disrupted while he is asleep on the job. Sadly, our Transport Minister is all talk and no action when it comes to drone disruptions.”
When operations at Dublin were previously suspended as a result of illegal drone activity, flights were forced to divert to alternative airports including Shannon.