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Ryanair slams ‘unacceptable’ delays at Dublin Airport caused by drones

Flight operations were suspended for around 40 minutes on Saturday afternoon after two drone sightings near the runway.

(Niall Carson/PA)© Niall Carson

Dublin Airport. Stock image

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

Ryanair has called for government action after a number of flights were diverted at Dublin Airport this weekend due to disruption caused by drones.

Flight operations were suspended for around 40 minutes on Saturday afternoon after two drone sightings near the runway.

Six inbound flights were diverted because of the incident.

Flight data shows three flights from Paris, Riga and Oporto were diverted to Shannon, with inbound and outbound flights delayed because of the temporary runway closure, while another three inbound flights were diverted to Belfast.

It follows a similar incident on Friday, where another drone was spotted near the runway, causing dozens of flights to and from the airport to be delayed.

Dublin Airport. Stock image

Ryanair said the two days of disruptions and diversions at the airport have been “completely unacceptable”.

The airline urged Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan to take action to prevent further drone activity at Ireland’s primary airport.

A spokesperson said it was “unacceptable that for two days in a row, passengers and flights to/from Dublin were disrupted by apparent drone activity”.

“Yesterday four Ryanair aircraft and over 700 passengers had their flights diverted to Shannon and Belfast, and again today another four flights and 700 passengers were diverted with thousands more having their flights delayed,” they said.

“Such drone disruptions at Ireland’s main airport are unacceptable.

“We are calling on Minister Ryan to take urgent action to protect the country’s main airport from repeated disruptions from illegal drone activity.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Dublin Airport confirmed that flight operations were briefly suspended on Saturday afternoon, with both departures and arrivals operations resuming less than an hour later.

They said flight operations were suspended for “safety” reasons following two confirmed drone sightings near the airport.

“It is illegal to fly drones within 5km of the airport. The safety and security of airport users is DAA’s key priority at all times and staff at Dublin Airport and An Garda Siochana remain vigilant in relation to drone activity in the vicinity of the airport,” they said.

“Such instances are a huge inconvenience to our passengers whether they are delayed departing or experience air traffic delays returning to Dublin Airport. However, safety and security are always our overriding priorities.”

Normal flight operations have fully resumed at the airport.

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