Dublin Airport manager DAA is waiting for communications regulators’ final go-ahead before deploying anti-drone equipment.

Drone interference at Dublin Airport disrupted and delayed thousands of passengers recently, prompting the Government to issue a regulation that allows DAA to use anti-drone equipment. According to media reports, the DAA will deploy equipment capable of bringing drones down or redirecting the drone to a safe zone.

Disruptions have also led to leaflets being distributed to homes and commercial premises near hubs to alert enthusiasts. The distribution will highlight the dangers of unauthorized drones flying near airports. Witnesses are encouraged to report any spotted drones immediately to gardai.

The DAA confirmed last week that it purchased the equipment and has since been training fire service staff at Dublin Airport to use it.

ComReg oversees the use of the Republic’s radio spectrum. This organization pointed out that all users must ensure that any equipment using this complies with the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1926.

“If the DAA has any queries about the use of the radio spectrum we are happy to advise and assist with this,” says a ComReg spokesman. No comments were made about talks or communication between it and the DAA.

The Department of Transportation knew about conversations between the DAA and ComReg about the new anti-drone technology. The DAA has stated that the company is continuing to work with the needed agencies before deploying the technology.

Buying and using the equipment is an immediate and interim measure to tackle the risks of illegal drone usage in and around Dublin Airport.

The Irish Aviation Authority has also approved the use of anti-drone equipment. The goal is to ensure no impact on air travel safety, including issues with navigation equipment.

It is illegal to operate a drone around any airport in the State. Drone operators will be ordered not to fly within 5km of any airport. The DAA has possessed drone detection equipment for many years but did not have the power to take them down or directly interfere.

This resulted in being unable to tackle the drones that posed threats around the airport recently.

The government originally thought new legislation would be needed to allow the tackling of drones directly, but lawyers advised that giving the DAA this power was legal.

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