Ryan to ask for military-level technology to ‘take down’ drones

Minister for Transport warns consequences for drone abuse include seven years in prison after disruptions at Dublin Airport

Tánaiste Micheál Martin is to be asked to investigate military-level technology to “take down” drones that threaten aircraft security at Dublin Airport.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said he will ask Mr Martin, who is also Minister for Defence, to look at “evolving technologies” to disable the type of drones that were sighted in the vicinity of Dublin Airport on three occasions in the past two weeks.

The drone sightings halted landings and take-offs at the airport at the weekend, which delayed, grounded and diverted planes and upset the travel plans of thousands of passengers.

Mr Ryan said the war in Ukraine was accelerating development of drone technology and it would be “interesting” to see what would develop in the short term.


He was speaking after airport operator DAA’s chief executive Kenny Jacob called on the Government to introduce a system to enable gardaí to take control of drones flying illegally in the vicinity of the airfield.

Mr Ryan said he had met representatives of DAA, the Garda and the Irish Aviation Authority on Tuesday night, as it was clear the technology to “take down” drones was beyond anything the Department of Transport possessed.

He said it should be recognised there was “no shortage” of legislation around drone use which provides for up to seven years imprisonment for those who break the law. Mr Ryan said he believed prosecutions would follow from the recent illegal use of drones.

Stressing the “disastrous consequences” that could occur should a drone get sucked into a plane engine, he said operating drones near an airport was “not without its own consequences”.

“This is a threat to people’s lives. This is a criminal matter and has to be dealt with severely,” he said.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist