Dublin Airport should be made liable for costs to an airline if management does not ensure there is a drone free area around the airport, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Deputy Colm Brophy said the onus has to be on Dublin Airport to prevent drones operating in the area following three days of disruption at the facility over St. Brigid’s weekend.
It is illegal to fly drones within 5km of the airport.
“What work has Dublin Airport done on a counter drone system? Everyone was made well aware of the potential repercussions of this issue when thousands of passengers were grounded at Gatwick in Christmas 2018.
“What has happened since at Dublin Airport to prevent a similar scenario here? Not much, it would appear.
“Obviously, Covid brought its own issues to the airport but drones operating illegally there shouldbe a serious concern for management there. What are they doing to prevent this?
“Airlines had to be diverted or passengers were left grounded and delayed in recent days due to this. The airport should bear the cost of this – not the airline,” Deputy Brophy said.
“The current legislation – the Small Unmanned Aircraft (Drones) and Rockets Order, 2015 – contains a number of limitations for the operation of drones. These include never operating a drone if it will be a hazard to another aircraft in flight or 5km from an airport. Is this adequate?
“Minister Jack Chambers needs to consider this too. Our airports, and especially Dublin Airport, must be ready to deal with drones,” Deputy Brophy said.