Drone threat at Irish airports to be discussed at special meeting
Risk group to examine the issue following Gatwick and Heathrow incidents
The potential threat to Irish airports from drones will be discussed by officials at a specially convened meeting on Thursday. File photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters
The potential threat to Irish airports from drones will be discussed by officials at a specially convened meeting on Thursday, following recent disruptions in the UK caused by the devices.
“The misuse of drones is an offence, and flying drones in controlled Irish airspace or within 5km of an airport is a very serious matter,” said Minister for Transport Shane Ross.
“I have asked my department to convene at short notice a special meeting of an expert industry group to assess recent events and advise me on how we are prepared at our own airports and whether there are further things which can be done.”
On Tuesday, flights from London Heathrow were briefly suspended after a drone sighting. The incident came after more serious disruption at Gatwick Airport caused by drone sightings in the run-up to Christmas.
Nothing of a similar scale has occurred at Irish airports, although there have been a number of relatively minor incidents.
Thursday’s meeting will come as little surprise to the aviation sector, which anticipated European-wide responses following the Gatwick incidents last month.