According to Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan, Dublin Airport will not have counter-drone technology for several weeks. Ryan said that various equipment providers are being assessed for their effectiveness before the right equipment is selected. His department is working with airport and aviation authorities to prevent drone-related disruption in the meantime.
Yesterday, three flights were diverted, and operations were suspended for half an hour due to drone activity. Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, called on Ryan to authorize Dublin Airport to disable drones with specific technology immediately. The airlines affected by the diversions called for more action from aviation authorities, branding the latest disruption unacceptable.
Mr. Ryan dismissed Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary’s suggestion that the Dublin Airport Authority only needs government approval to implement the necessary technology to address the airport’s capacity issues. Speaking on RTÉ Radio’s News at One, Mr. Ryan emphasized that the situation is more complex than what Mr. O’Leary proposed, as the airport would also require appropriate equipment to tackle the issue. Mr. Ryan further noted that they want to ensure they get everything right. Although he plans to bring a memo to Cabinet on Tuesday, it would take several weeks to procure the necessary equipment, according to Mr. Ryan.
Mr. Ryan cautioned that any actions taken should not adversely impact aviation and that purchasing the necessary equipment would be the first step once Cabinet approves. He mentioned that multiple suppliers were under consideration and that the government wants to ensure that Dublin Airport has access to the most advanced anti-drone technology available.