Arrest tied to Jan. 24th drone incident

On Thursday, Ireland’s National Police and Security Service,  An Garda Síochána, arrested a man in his 60s on suspicion of flying a drone near the Dublin Airport on January 24th. The airport has been temporarily shut down four times in the last few weeks because of drone activity.

The individual was arrested on suspicion of endangerment contrary to the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Persons Act of 1997. The man has been detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act of 1984 at Dublin Airport Garda Station and can be questioned for up to 24 hours. A drone has been recovered for further forensic examination by investigators. The investigation into the unlawful flying of drones at Dublin Airport is continuing.

According to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the unscheduled closing of a runway can cost airports as much as  €1m every hour. An EASA document related to the management of drone incidents at aerodromes published in 2021 states that for the ten largest European airports, the cost of a 30-minute runway closure is estimated to range from EUR 325,000 to EUR 514,000.

These costs represent a real burden for the commercial aircraft industry, particularly as the number of incidents at aerodromes and airports has multiplied in recent years.

Following the incident over the weekend, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan met representatives of DAA, the Garda and the Irish Aviation Authority.

A statement was issued after the meeting, “The Ministers will engage across Government to strengthen our ability to deal with such incidents, including exploring the potential for enhanced technological solutions.” Minister Ryan also noted that he will ask the Minister for Defence, Tánaiste Michéal Martin, to look at “evolving technologies” to “take down” drones that threaten aircraft security at Dublin Airport.

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