Minister Ross needs to ensure Irish airports are equipped for drone disruption- Richmond

-   Senator Neale Richmond

FOLLOWING further drone related disruption to thousands of passengers at a UK Airport, Fine Gael Senator Neale Richmond has called on Minister for Transport Shane Ross to confirm Dublin Airport is adequately prepared to deal with similar incidents.


“For the second time in a matter of weeks, we have seen an airport near London city centre crippled and flights delayed due to disruption caused apparently by drones.


“The economic and human costs of these drone attacks have been massive; understandably many Irish travellers are concerned the same could happen here,” Senator Richmond said.


“It is therefore vital that Transport Minister Shane Ross, confirms that Dublin Airport and indeed all Irish Airports, are prepared for such disturbances and that Irish travellers can rest assured that any possible drone attacks will be dealt with swiftly.


“Anti-drone equipment is being rolled out in the UK to prevent future incidents. Exclusion zones are being extended. Is the same approach being taken here?


“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? Are penalties enough of a deterrent?


“The Dublin Airport Authority, the Irish Aviation Authority, all airlines and security services must be aware to the possibilities of a drone attack; it falls on Minister Ross to take overall responsibility for this and give the necessary assurances as we ask is Dublin Airport drone ready,” Senator Richmond asked.

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