Dublin Airport Authority calls for technology to ‘take down’ drones at airport and have drone pilots prosecuted – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Dublin Airport Authority calls for technology to ‘take down’ drones at airport and have drone pilots prosecuted

The chief executive of Dublin airport operator DAA has called for a government defence system to shut down drones that disrupt flights at airports.

Some flights have been cancelled at Dublin Airport after drones were spotted at the airport on Friday, Saturday and Monday over fears they could damage aircraft.

It is illegal to fly drones within a 5km radius of the airport and DAA investigations confirmed that drones were in use on Saturday and Monday but not on Friday.

Kenny Jacobs, chief executive of the DAA, said he met with the Irish Aviation Authority, Transport Secretary Eamon Ryan and Minister of State Jack Chambers last night to discuss the concerns.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, he said a government defense system was needed to deal with the problem as recent events show how easy it is to shut down an airport.

He said there will be further meetings with ministers to look at the options available to prevent the problem from happening again.

“It could also happen over the Aviva Stadium while Ireland are playing France, and that match could be disrupted because of drones. So, I think this is a State-wide issue. Dublin Airport has a drone detection system. We don’t have a system to stop and take down drones. That’s something totally different. Last weekend, regrettably, there were 16 disruptions,” reports RTE.

Mr Jacobs said the state could take other actions, citing the example of London’s Gatwick Airport, which experienced problems in 2018 with drones shutting down the airport.

He said: “Since then, the UK government has implemented a drone counter-measure defence system that’s not operated by Gatwick Airport. It’s not operated by Heathrow, it’s actually operated by the Metropolitan Police in London, so that is a defence system that allows the police – in the case of London – to take control of a drone, send it back where it came from, jam the signal, or they can bring it down if they have to,” reports RTE.

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