Antidrone technology to be deployed at Dublin Airport in weeks, says DAA

Staff have been trained in using measures, and the DAA is awaiting regulatory approval

The DAA has confirmed antidrone technology will be deployed at Dublin Airport within weeks.

The airport was closed six times in the first two months of the year as illegal drone activity caused flight disruptions and diversions.

That prompted the Government to issue a regulation allowing DAA to use equipment to bring drones down or to move them to a safe zone.

DAA spokesperson Graeme McQueen told Newstalk that it needs to have the ability to take a drone down when a person breaks the law and flies one near Dublin Airport.


“This technology will give us the ability to do that and the message, until we get the drone technology in place and up and running, is that it’s illegal to fly a drone within 5km of Dublin Airport. You shouldn’t do it and if you do do it, you will get caught and get punished,” Mr McQueen said.

Staff at the airport have undergone training in the use of antidrone technology and the DAA is awaiting regulatory approval, Mr McQueen said.

“They [staff] have got to grips with that, they’re ready to go. Once we get the necessary approval in the next few weeks we will be up and running at Dublin Airport.”

There are EU and national rules in place around the use of drones, including an exclusion zone of 5km around airports.

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has warned that reckless use of a drone or inappropriate use of its camera may result in prosecution.

Unveiling a drone safety campaign last December, the IAA said anyone buying a drone must register as an operator with the aviation regulator.

Jim Gavin, director of people and operations at the IAA, said drone use has increased significantly in recent years.

“Operating a drone in public requires training, as they can have serious consequences if they are flown inappropriately, or collide with a person, an animal or an aircraft,” he said.

The IAA became one of the first aviation regulators in the world to introduce regulations and mandatory drone registration in December 2015.

People who buy drones that are over 250g or a drone fitted with a camera are legally required to register as a drone operator.