Drone sighting at Dublin Airport brings flights to temporary halt

Posted at 6:36 AM, Feb 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 10:47:06-05

Dublin Airport temporarily suspended all flight operations on Thursday following a “confirmed sighting of a drone” over the airfield.

“For safety reasons we are temporarily suspending flight operations @DublinAirport due (to) the confirmed sighting of a drone over the airfield,” the airport said via its official Twitter account, adding that passengers should contact their airlines for flight updates.

A pilot reported the drone sighting to the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) — which operates air traffic control at the airport — at about 11.30 a.m. local time (6:30 a.m. ET), the airport said.

Less than an hour later, the airport said that flight operations had resumed and apologized for an inconvenience.

“The safety and security of passengers is always our key priority,” the airport said on Twitter.

It is illegal to fly drones within five kilometers (3.1 miles) of an airport in Ireland, the airport said Thursday, adding that drones that weigh more than 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) must be registered with the IAA.

This disruption is the latest in a series of recent drone sightings that have plagued airport operations across the globe.

In December, drone sightings brought the United Kingdom’s Gatwick Airport to a standstill for 36 hours, affecting the plans of at least 150,000 passengers during the busiest travel period of the year.

And last month, flights in and out of New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport and departures from London’s Heathrow Airport were temporarily suspended following drone sightings.